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Be Curious

Sometimes the curious ask will open up doors of possibility that we didn’t even know were hidden behind the faces we see each day. Sometimes if needs don’t seem evident around us, it’s not a matter of searching out a different set of people, but perhaps finding a different set of questions. Jerry was intrigued by Common Change; he had caught the vision and started to believe in the disruptive power of relational abundance. There was just one problem – he didn’t think there was anyone in his life who had the kinds of need that he imagined would require such radical generosity. Not that affluence and excess surrounded him, but no one was coming to him asking for real help. He attended a Generosity Dinner and was challenged to look at his life shaped by different questions. Questions can often seem intrusive, but the real magic comes in a simple and consistent presence. Jerry knew the places and people that were a regular part of his daily life, so he just needed to find new ways of getting behind the same old pleasantries that defined their interactions. It may not be standard business practice for a business owner to broadcast his needs, but regular customers can come to feel more like family than a sales transaction. Jerry began slowly but eventually, as one question led to more profound and more engaged conversation, he discovered a need buried not too deep beneath the surface.

Action: Think about your regular interactions and listen for the little bits of information a person shares that can be transformed into compassionate follow-up questions.

How does that make you feel? What are you looking forward to?

Your story of empathy, storytelling, and compassion

You see the traveler standing at the intersection asking for spare change. The guy in your neighborhood who walks around with his two kids in a too-small stroller asking for help buying baby formula for his youngest child. A co-worker’s friend needs bus fare to travel 200 miles to attend her son’s funeral. The instinctive reactions for many of us go something like this: I wish I could help but what difference can I really make? Maybe I could give a few dollars here or there, but is that person’s life really improved? How do I really know the need is real?

But what if you were connected to a group of friends who were willing to approach these challenges and opportunities together? What if the common affinity was a belief in pursuing a different way to share and multiple gifts? With combined resources, perspectives, and empathy, the impact could be magnified. When we act together, not only is our own scarcity transformed into communal abundance, but we also find an antidote to the same isolation that resonated in those stories of need.

Could you take one small step in this direction? Contact Wilmina for a straightforward way to join a community of empathy, storytelling, and compassion.

Moving Beyond The Headlines

Common Change is a community of people who seek to get up close and personal. We hear the news, but we want to look behind the curtain of headlines and click-bait. We push beyond the sensational to find the sacred, often hidden in the faces of those in need. Those rich stories hidden within ordinary lives belong not just to strangers far away, but also to our neighbors and co-workers, and friends.

We see the pictures of immigrant families in distress, and we cannot fully imagine the depth and scope of their needs. But if we meet these families in another setting, they are our neighbors, co-workers, fellow church members and suddenly the stranger is much like you and me.

If you’re wondering how to move beyond the headlines or curious to what it would look like to be a part of this community, we are here to help, drop us a line at support@commonchange.com

Desperation, Isolation, And The Power Of Friendship

A woman is totally exasperated because just as she thought her child-rearing days were over, she suddenly becomes the caretaker of a young child. A young woman flees an abusive situation and must pay for the same harm from which she escaped. A family sacrifices the familiarity of home for the risks of a border-crossing in order to save their lives and seek a better future. The tears in their eyes, their shoulders drooping. But to be lifted up by the hands of those they do not even know can allow them to tap into reserves of strength and fortitude to carry on.

Sometimes, the best thing we can offer is friendship. There may be financial needs and physical needs and needs we simply cannot meet. But a gentle, compassionate, curious question can deepen our relationships. The question “How might I help?” can give us the eyes to see and ears to hear tangible needs between the lines. Suddenly we see that even in our gentle inquiry, there are even more people beyond ourselves who care. “Can I share this need with others who may be able to help?” There is a light, a comfort, a newfound courage in knowing we’re not alone – even if it means we’re not alone in thinking about the needs and challenges we face.

When we are invited to act on behalf of others, we are acting with compassion and empathy that illuminate the Creators hope for reconciliation. And when we join hands with others who care, our lifting is strengthened – when my arms get weak, I know I am not lifting this friend alone.

Common Change cultivates a culture of compassion, empathy, storytelling, and belonging — a culture inspired by the words of Greg Boyle who teaches, “compassion isn’t just about feeling the pain of others, it’s about bringing them towards ourselves.” If you desire or are curious about this community that helps one another, drop us a line.

As 2017 Draws To A Close

CC2017We couldn’t do it without you.

We’ve made some big impacts in the past year. Common Change supported elders in Cuba (featured in The Economists), contributed thousands of dollars to help with the recovery from many of this year’s natural disasters, engaged 2000 participants with The Hive in Cincinnati Ohio, witnessed deepened engagement among South Africa’s nearly 200 members, developed new partnerships with Looker and Google, and became established as an official UK charity. We continue our impact because of people like you.

To keep our momentum going, to achieve the vision we share, we need your support now more than ever. Please make a donation today.

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notesDo you have a new startup or an idea?

We would love to hear about it, drop us a line. Our incubator is a collaborative program designed to help founders and new start-ups succeed.

Check out the great work that Troy Bronsink has done with The Hive Cincinnati. The Hive exists to develop creative, compassionate, and mindfully-engaged citizens in the Cincinnati region through small group classes, events and workshops.

Common Change is a UK charity

londonWhen unexpected events bring with them a serious financial impact they are referred to as ‘income shocks’. Over a quarter of the UK adult population (i.e. 14 million people) will have suffered at least one income shock in the last year. Millions of us have neither ‘rainy day’ savings nor access to family and friends who may offer temporary assistance in such a time of crisis.

Join the journey in laying out the foundation. We have limited space available for our UK pilot program. – Drop us a line.