Real Social Good is Emotionally Connected
What exactly is social good?
According to Anne Koller and her crew, it can be something both broader and more personal than its popular definition often recognizes.
Koller is the founder of TAPIN, a New York City-based project that “seeks to make the world a more emotionally connected place. Our community connects through interactive art installations that explore the broad spectrum of human emotions. We believe true freedom comes through exposing our most intense emotions and finding new power to remove the barriers around our dreams.”
How does all of that relate to social good? Koller explains:
After working in social good for some time—in favelas in Brazil, in coffee fields in Rwanda, at Davos [the World Economic Forum annual meeting] with some of the world's most powerful leaders—I thought I would have become a diplomat by now, or work in the foreign service. I speak four languages, I have a Masters degree in public administration from Columbia... Sometimes I have guilt and ask myself why I'm not still out there.
But what I've learned is that we are unable to create true social good if our service is inauthentic, if it feels responsibility-driven and not in line with our true purpose. Social good is about aligning with what makes us truly unique and then magnifying that to serve others. Someone else might feel that working in an orphanage is their purpose—in fact, I know lots of people do, and that's a wonderful thing—but it’s not mine.
All the world needs from you is to be a lot of what you are. Capitalize on that, drive it forward. The more you can work with your own alignment, the more powerful your contribution can be.
A friend recently said to me, ‘With TAPIN, you’re allowing people the opportunity to feel free and be themselves.’ I don’t know what else social good is, or what else I could be doing. And this strikes me as a perfect time to redefine social impact. We—all the people who are shaping the world today—can redefine it for ourselves.
TAPIN’s head storyteller Becky Burton further illuminates that social good’s scope can be broadened in the other direction, too—it’s not just about rethinking what roles we should fill as individuals, but also about rethinking who we should aim to serve:
For people who want to take action, there’s an expectation for social good that it only serves disadvantaged communities. But we think social good is for everyone. Social good is everyone finding their purpose and living their passion—it’s not only about helping people in a state of crisis. It can take the form of a very simple action that just brings a smile.
Read more about TAPIN's approach to facing emotions and making creative experiences around them on their website.
Photo courtesy of Kathryn Weill
Why Do Happy People Make The Suburbs Look Even More Depressing? There’s a reason engagement photos aren’t normally taken where the couple actually plans on living
Keeping a Pakistani Artisan Culture from Going Extinct Lahore-based social entrepreneurs support local craftsmen by selling men’s shoes named after an endangered goat
Can You Cut Your Water Consumption by 90 Percent for 24 Hours? A nonprofit challenges people to live off a gallon of water a day, instead of dumping it on their heads
A Love Letter to Philadelphia A personal look into the city from the local poet, muscian, singer, and educator
You Can’t Print a Photo from Outer Space On Polyester Celine Semaan Vernon’s new fashion project is a cosmic experiment in empathy.
Forget the Ouija Board If you want to get into divination this Halloween season, check out these alternatives to the game that rhymes with ‘squeegee’
The Standards are Too Damn High An African leadership prize that frequently has no winners has sparked a debate over whether standards of excellence can turn self-defeating.
Stop Chasing the “It” Pumpkin One man’s brave stance against pricey heirloom gourds fouling up fall.
Skid Row Is Here to Stay The largest, and probably proudest, homeless community in the United States is becoming a powerful interest group in Los Angeles.
How to Raise $750,000 for Charity, the YouTuber Way Rising YouTube sensations like Tyler Oakley and Connor Franta mobilize their massive fan base for a cause Next time your birthday rolls around, consider what these enterprising stars did to celebrate theirs.
Chelsea Handler Tries Making Fun Of Andy’s Weight. It Backfires Immediately. An embarrassingly bad attempt to make fun of Andy’s weight
Another Kind of Street Meat Searching for abundant, organic, all-natural, free meat? Consider roadkill.