What is reality?
When you look at the images on TV or in a magazine, everything looks amazing. People are having fun, living healthy, and looking great. Now with social media, this is further amplified with people you actually know or follow. Very few people post unflattering stories or images, rather they only broadcast the highlights. And, many of those highlights are further “improved” with filters, and creative (partially factual) writing.
Reality, most of us are struggling with something right now…
Technology is often blamed for this “false reality” and the recent rise in depression, suicide, and anxiety. However, what if we could use technology to actually help people in their darkest moments? Earlier this year I met an entrepreneur, Nancy Lublin, at SXSW and was so impressed with her and what she is doing. She is challenging leaders to think about the massive potential of technology and the data you could collect to help better serve the population. To demonstrate this she founded the non-profit Crisis Text Line and it now saves 29 people and talks to more than 5000 people per day (data as of April, 2019 – From Austinpreneur Podcast #18 Life-Saving Data Science w/ Nancy Lublin)
Nancy, is in the arena! She is using her talents to help others, and as she learns, she is creating technology tools that can help for-profit and non-profit organizations. I could continue to praise her, but I think you would benefit the most from simply watching her 5-minute TED Talk, or listening to this podcast (I recommend listening to the full thing, but her section on Crisis Text Line, starting at 22:21, had me saying “Wow” several times). Another podcast I loved is her interview on Masters of Scale – Nancy Lublin grit happens/
So now the hard question: How might we all get better at leveraging the tools and skills we have to serve others? How can we live our lives in a way where we are helping others become better versions of themselves? How can we make a difference in someone’s life?
I don’t have all the answers, but I fully believe that we need to be more available and more attentive to the silent screams of those around us. We need to stop hiding behind the illusion of being perfect, or only posting our best stuff, and rather be humble and vulnerable and make our whole selves available for those around us that we care for.
We have all suffered through painful moments, and learned some valuable lessons the hard way. I dare you to be a “lighthouse” and use this scar to help others. I dare you to actively look and listen to people, and to see and feel their pain. I dare you to sincerely act in a way to serve them and to help them in their moment of weakness. Imagine a world where people love and care for others. We might not be able to change the world, but I guarantee if we act this way we will change someone’s life, and likely more people than we will ever know.
Lets move from defeated to triumphant…
If you are struggling right now, you are not alone, regardless of what it looks like on social media. I hope and pray you have a friend that you can talk to. If you’re afraid to talk to them, text HOME to 741741 and someone will help you. Or email me anytime. No one deserves to hurt, life is too precious…
As always, I wish you the best
More links and info below:
I strongly suggest you watch her short (5 minute) TED Talk Texting that saves lives.
And to learn more about Nancy and some of the great work she did, and continues to do, I recommend this podcast: Life-Saving Data Science w/ Nancy Lublin
Or listen to Nancy Lublin’s conversation with Reid Hoffman on Masters of Scale – Grit Happens