I am not a good person. Strong statement perhaps but, nonetheless, true. I do not think I am a bad person, but I am far from perfect. Very far from it. On the other hand, Michelle King, my girlfriend and co-founder of We've Got Time to Help, has lived a pretty just life. Of course, she is not perfect either (don't tell her I said that), but she has done things the right way for the most part. She has held the same job for almost 15 years, bought her first house when she was 23, and has a heart larger than I could ever hope to have.
I am not a saint. I have made many mistakes in my 36 years on this earth. I have caused pain. I have caused heartache. I have taken from others and not given a thing back. I have ignored other's pain because I was too caught up in my own world to care. I do not feel like an inspiration. There is not enough space on the Internet for me to detail all of my shortcomings. But, suffice it to say, I will not be winning a Nobel Prize.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though. It's what keeps me going every day. Perhaps I have not been a great human being my entire life, but that does not mean that I have to continue to be that way. I can change things. I can be a different person. I can change the course of someone's life for the better. I can give back.
So starts our mission of goodwill hunting. It doesn't matter our background, our past failures, or our misdeeds. It doesn't matter what we did yesterday, only what we do today. What matters is our want and desire to change the community paradigm. How can we change things for the better? How can we, as a collective, make life better for everyone?
The answer to that question starts with another question. Do we see a problem? Do we want things to change? Do we want to see stronger communities? Do we want to pool our resources to make it easier on all of us? Or, do we want to continue our current path? Do we want to see our neighbors and neighborhoods fall by the wayside? Do we want to let friends and strangers alike, slip through the cracks?
The answers to these questions are in all of us. If your answer is that you don't see a problem and you think things should remain the same, by all means, continue on with your life and we wish you nothing but the best. However, if your answer is that your neighborhoods and communities need change, that you see people everywhere struggling, that it's time that we get reconnected, then please do something.
The time has passed for those of us that want things to change but who are willing to have someone else to do the changing. If things are to change, we need to be the people to effect those changes. We can no longer stand by the wayside and wait. We, as a country, can no longer afford to watch as our communities crumble around us. It's time to start looking for things you can do. It's time to open your eyes and find see the difference you can make. It's time to start looking in every corner of your neighborhoods to see what you can do to help.
It's time to go goodwill hunting.