When I met Mike, the founder of Otherly, at the business start up Socialight conference in Vancouver a huge event with massive enthusiasm and energy, I knew something magical was happening. Although I wasn’t too sure if I fit in with his vision for a website based on helping, it sounded idealistic and I have to admit I do love idealism. So I agreed to meet with him to discuss it.
As I sat waiting in the lounge of the Vancouver Hotel, the energy was bright and uplifting. Mike arrived soon after and we ordered coffee, biscotti then dove into conversation. He told me how he wanted to help change the world by focusing on helpfulness because the idea had been in the back of his mind since he was a child.
After listening to his story, I shared my story about how I had engaged with helpful movements since arriving in Vancouver in 2002. I explained that when I was at University studying for my Sociology degree, we had covered social movements. In that dawning moment of looking into the textbook photos as our professor explained how social change happens, I lit up like a Christmas tree! There was a way to change the world!
But I had never been so moved as when Mike explained his vision of a helping network and how we could ground my education into a movement that would benefit us all in such a beautiful way. I went to the subway after the meeting and was pacing while I waited for the train because energy was flowing through me so strongly.
We began to get together to discuss it more at length with two others who were equally moved by the vision. Ideas began to flow and practically lifted us off the ground! We needed the table between us to anchor us as the ideas poured forward. I knew we were on to something.
Since I joined Otherly, I am now focused more on helpfulness and helping acts and what a beautiful place for my attention to be. Its a lovely energy and I know it has real power. I am a Content Director in charge of content creation and writing.
So now, everyday I think about being otherly, doing otherly, and growing otherly so that all of us can benefit from the goodwill of others. Hallelujah!
Cassandra Wilson is Otherly. Because It Matters.