Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Can Service Save Us?

A lot of people have serious concerns about the future of the world. You hear it all the time, especially when folks start talking about the future, in regards to politics and religion. “I am praying for your kids." "This country is going down the drain." "The world is terrible." "I have no hope for these kids’ future.” These are not things you hear all the time, but hearing them once is enough.

I’m not going to lie, I have concerns about the future for a variety of reasons. Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) going to destroy humanity? Has the world reached it’s maximum capacity? What is happening to the bees? Even though we don’t know what the future holds there are reasons to be hopeful.

One of the more exciting things that is currently happening is The Giving Pledge, which is a site that lists billionaires or near-billionaires who have pledged to give over half of their money to philanthropy or charitable causes. The list includes Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg, these three alone are currently worth over $100 billion.

Another billionaire who has made the pledge to donate part of his fortune, Elon Musk, is also committed to protecting us from rogue computer intelligence. He recently donated $10 million to the Future of Life Institute as a preventative measure against AI going bad.

Habitat for Humanity Build
But, billionaires aren’t the only ones trying to make a difference. As the co-founder of a dating site for volunteers, I see first hand the impressive number of people giving their time to make the world a better place. We have members who serve daily, they do the little things that add up to make the biggest impact.

The volunteers on our site are everyday people working to make the world a better place. If you doubt the kindness of humanity, then I suggest taking some time to volunteer. If you don’t see the change you want to see, be the change you want to be. Assuredly, getting together with friends and working to help others will restore your faith.

So, can service save us? My experience tells me, “Yes!” Taking action and doing good by volunteering will make you feel good, it builds empathy and it helps people, which in turn makes the world a better place. Like #MLK said, “Life's most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

Need some ideas on how to give back or take action? Fight rogue AI by applying for a position with OpenAI, help save the bees by registering to be a part of the Pollinator Partnership, or give back by mentoring a child with Big Brothers Big Sisters, signing up for a Build with Habitat for Humanity, or serving our veterans through the DAV. Check out our member resource page for more opportunities to make the world better.

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