This is Josh’s summary of The Plural of You, as well as three key lessons learned so far from helpers who have appeared on the podcast.
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Hi, I’m Josh Morgan. I started The Plural of You in 2014 to give the helpers of the world a platform to share their stories. I’ve had a lot of helpers in my life, and I’ve observed in my work as a data analyst and a sociologist that there are countless, unseen people all around us who have devoted themselves to making our lives better. I want to lift up these people as role models instead of focusing on the few people in society who cause us harm, which we can be prone to do.
So I’ve been honored to talk with a few role models so far, and I’ve learned a lot. Just for instance, here’s something major I learned from Drew Carhart, a light pollution activist near Chicago.
Drew: My attitude has always been I can’t guarantee positive things are going to happen from the work that I’m doing, but I can guarantee positive things aren’t going to happen if I don’t do the work.
Drew’s right. We like to think we can do anything to make the world better if we decided to, but it’s like he says: it takes action to make our ideas mean something. That reminds me of something Pardeep Kaleka told me when I talked with him. Pardeep lost his father in an act of domestic terrorism, so he devoted his life to bringing people together through service projects.
Pardeep: Yeah, just embracing each other’s uniqueness. The truth is there is plenty of stuff that we can do on a day to day basis. We just have to embrace each other’s uniqueness.
Pardeep has learned that each of us has qualities or experiences that can allow us to help others in ways that the rest of us can’t as easily. That’s one reason I ask everyone I talk to on The Plural of You how people like you and me can get involved where they are, whether it’s working for a cause or supporting a project, or learning more about a particular topic.
The thing that’s excited me the most about talking with the helpers out there is that I get to document examples of how kind and compassionate we can be to one another. You’ve probably checked out the podcast because you’re kind and compassionate yourself, or at least you’d like to be. That’s something Cheri Speelman taught me about. Cheri works in a needle exchange program near Seattle, caring for those that the rest of society has mostly forgotten about.
Cheri: For me, it’s important to be able to provide a safe place, a safe place where someone can be who they are. To watch them be okay, even if they’re just okay while they’re with me, that means the world to me.
One lesson I hope The Plural of You will impart to more people like you is that we should be helping people where they are, not where we think they should be.
So yeah. Those three lessons about taking action, realizing our uniqueness, and practicing compassion are what The Plural of You is all about. I publish an episode on the 15th of every month and I write a blog post once in a while, but I don’t want to keep this project all to myself. If you ever have something you’d like to write about humanity, maybe if you’d like to contribute to the podcast or help in some other way, get in touch and we can talk about how to make The Plural of You your project, too.
That’s all for now. Thanks for helping.