The Power of Community to Affect Positive Change

by Richard Carmichael

They say it takes a village to raise a family.

In the global village, we are all inextricably connected. What we do, who we touch, what we say has the power to influence and impact the world we live in. It has never been more important to realize the value and the potential that lies within the wealth resource that is the communities we live, work and breathe in.

Healthy communities start with healthy families. With the challenges facing the modern nuclear family, it is becoming increasingly difficult to play all of the roles we play and do it well. Our goal with HeadsUp Dad is to reach out, touch and engage with as many fathers and families as possible, to foster a spirit of community, camaraderie and support and to empower the community with a sense of purpose and the power to affect positive change.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead

How?

Information has the power to shape the way people live their lives. Promoting social learning relies on educational processes to shape specific behaviors such as the sexual practices, parenting of children, consumerism and the purchase and use of products, participation in our local communities, appreciating and caring for our fellow citizens, looking after the best interests of our planet and more.

The notion underlying this theory is that knowledge leads to action, and action leads to effects. The more that people know about the effects of their actions, the more likely they are to change what they do, especially if what they are doing is harmful to them or their families or their friends or their neighbors—be they around the block, across town, on the other side of the country or on another continent; we are inextricably connected.

So, if we can tap into the power of community to reach out, to share information and ideas, then we can inspire, motivate and apply time, effort, energy and resources towards our collective common interests and goals. If we can do that, then we can achieve great things.

Our kids hold the key to the betterment of society and civilization itself. It is our collective responsibility to raise our kids with a philosophy of oneness and togetherness. To instill a sense of wonder—awe and appreciation for the natural world around us. To take ownership of it, to foster a culture of environmental sustainability, conservation and stewardship. To inspire effective and sustainable cultivation and management of our natural resources and ensure the sanctity and continuation of the planet we live on.

It is our mandate to reach out, connect and engage with our communities on a local, regional, national and even global level. To inspire, respect and reward uniqueness, creativity and originality. To recognize the importance and the strength of individuality, but of also the power of the collective. To share the knowledge we gain along the way and with Dads everywhere and teach our kids that it is possible for one person to do things which can influence many people and affect positive change at home and abroad, no matter how small that person is.

Fathers have always played a vital and important role in the success of a child. The HeadsUp Dad community hopes to inform, to inspire, to connect our citizens at an early age and set them up for success. By reaching out to Fathers and those about to become one, by respecting and appreciating the roles they play, the perspective they bring to the table and the value they can contribute to the health of the community, we can impact the power of future generations to better control their own destiny.

We can empower our kids to take ownership and stewardship of their own future. By inspiring youth to get engaged with their communities, setting the example, donating time and energy and encouraging volunteerism in our communities, and activism to influence the role and actions of government, we will be working together to nurture a kind, caring, tolerant society that raises better informed, smarter, healthier, empowered and engaged citizens of our communities—and by extension creates a better, smarter, healthier and more capable global society.

To that end, HeadsUpDad will introduce you to the Ghandi‘s, the Malcom X‘s, the Martin Luther King’s, the Virginia Woolfe‘s, the Gloria Steinham‘s—the mentors, game changers and inspirational trailblazers that came before us and also to the Oprah Winfrey’s, the Barack Obama’s, the Jeff Skoll‘s, the Al Etamanski‘s and the Ashokas—the heroes and social innovators of our time.

Through their eyes and their efforts, their actions and their stories, we hope to inspire the heros of the next generation. We will offer expert opinion and critique, curated online content offered by a unique panel of experts on everything from environmental stewardship and sustainability, community organization, health, wellness and nutrition (physical, mental and emotional health), as well as the power of music, arts, adventure and activities for indoors and out. Advice on everything from parenting through post partem depression, taking care of your ailing parents to navigating the stormy seas of relationships, separation, divorce and more. There will be discussions on philosophy, spiritualism, philanthropy, community involvement and volunteering for the common good.

The site will feature articles and editorial content written by professionals from a broad range of disciplines, and user generated content developed by a wide range of people from all walks of life and all corners of the world.

There will be features that allow users to tune in and watch video blogs hosted by environmental experts, watchdogs and activists, and invitations for you to contribute and share your own ideas, perspectives, photos, video and other content with family, friends and others within the community.

HeadsUp Dad truly is a one stop shop for everything a modern Dad needs to know about surviving and thriving as a Father, making informed decisions and raising the bar on modelling a good example for future generations. Healthy, informed and engaged Dads make better mentors for children and result in healthier kids, which in turn contributes to better communities and better communities work to create a stronger, healthier and more prosperous society.

There is a lot of work ahead of us. It isn’t going to be easy—but it will be easier with the help of all of us, working together.

It all starts here, with you Dad.

Heads Up!

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