Daily Challenge
Daily Challenge

Like many of you, I start every day by glancing at my in box.  And despite what you may think, I come away inspired – seriously, inspired!  That’s because I have signed up to receive the Daily Challenge, the product of an interesting group of social entrepreneurs.  I have found a community of “do gooders” who not only proudly claim the moniker but actually have created a forum to track and share their everyday acts of kindness and who challenge us to action.

So what kind of challenges do I read about?Here’s a recent one:

“Take ten minutes out of your day to listen to someone’s problems. No need to provide answers, just listen and be there for someone.”

Now, this is invaluable advice – especially for those of us who feel the need to “fix” things.  Of course, most times there are no fixes but we try anyway.  “Have you tried this? Have you thought about this?” How about “that sounds really tough, tell me more”.  Totally empowering for both parties, the person with the problem gets heard and you don’t have to fix anything.  Wish I had heard this 20 years ago.

Daily Challenge is brought to us by the folks who operate “pay it backward day“.  It involves the selfless act of purchasing a drink for the person behind you in line, even if you don’t know them! The goal was to break a world record for acts of coffee kindness and motivate over 500 Torontonians (because the previous record was 490) to go into the real world and commit to doing something nice for a stranger.

On Saturday April 4th, 2009 hundreds of Torontonians (602 to be exact) came out to a local coffee shop in the heart of the city to prove that when we unite over small acts of kindness, we can collectively create a big impact – and eventually change the world.

I’m incredibly impressed with the work of these social entrepreneurs.  They not only want to make the world a better place but they have created a platform to make that happen.  And they proudly proclaim they are “do gooders”, a label I always avoided, thinking it meant I was less professional than I should be.  One more lesson I have learned from Daily Challenge.

So won’t you join us?  May make that inbox just that much easier to face.


Allyson Hewitt

Allyson is the JW McConnell Family Foundation Senior Fellow, Social Innovation at MaRS, where she has been leading the SiG@MaRS program; advising social entrepreneurs; building the social innovation ecosystem; and incubating successful programs such as the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, the MaRS Solutions Lab and Studio Y. See more…