Creating crowdfunding campaigns has caused me to think quite a bit about people and what their giving says about them. The world is full of causes, from frogs to children to cultures, from personal to global. Well, really, all causes are personal to someone. And what might be vitally important to me may not even be on your radar, which doesn't make me better than you or you completely heartless, it only means that we care passionately about different things. It may be that you don't know about my cause, but if you did you would become an advocate. It may be that even if you know all about my cause you might still choose to put your time and energy some where else. That's not only o.k. it's a good thing!
There are just too many causes in the world for any one person to care about them all, or even know about them all. And imagine a world where everyone supported the same cause, that would leave a whole lot of important issues languishing in the shadows.
There's a graphic that floats through my facebook feed now and then that states, "Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate." Sometimes I need that reminder. If other people have a cause that I don't support, even if it's a cause that I strongly disagree with, does it really help anything if I get in their face about it? It's a rare day when doing so changes anyone's mind. And because people champion causes that are meaningful to them for personal reasons, people take it personally when I don't support their cause. (Sadly, there do seem to be a few people in the world who aren't really for anything, so much as they are against everything. I'd say it's best to avoid them as much as possible, because they are the people you are least likely to have a rational conversation with about anything you or they support.)
But back to the crowdfunding, which is what caused me to ponder these things. Right now my husband is raising funds to get a book published. He has almost 20 years experience working with children and families in a variety of settings, and multiple related degrees. He's attended countless conferences, workshops and trainings; he has taught a whole lot of classes and workshops, too. He's been trained to use different parenting curriculum to help parents who were struggling with their children's behaviors or struggling to parent in non-harmful ways. Over the years he found that none of the curriculum really fit with his value of coming from a place of compassion and respect when interacting with children. To remedy this he set out to create a book that was "a guide for parenting with compassion, honesty, respect and unconditional love." A book that could be used by parents on their own or with the support of a therapist or parenting coach. The book, Radical Family! Parenting: A Guide for Parenting with Compassion, Honesty, Respect, and Unconditional Love, is now complete. You can read more about why we are crowdfunding Here.
I'm guessing that if you are reading this you agree that compassion, honesty, respect and unconditional love are good things. And I'm hoping that you would agree that how children are parented is important since it impacts them for their entire lives, and it will impact future generations. Considering that, would you be willing to contribute $10 so that we can buy one book to sell, while you get an electronic copy of the book for your own use? Would you be willing to contribute $25 to get a hard copy of the book for yourself, while providing us with $10 to buy another copy?
We have 15 days left in our campaign to raise $5,000. Some of that $5,000 will go towards paying for the pre-ordered copies, and the rest will help us purchase books to have on hand to sell, though we also hope to have enough books to donate some to the library and organizations that work with children and families. So far 35 people have donated $1,685.
Because I've helped support other people's indiegogo campaigns, I get e-mails about current campaigns. This week one really got me thinking about what people help fund.There's a campaign to raise $50,000 to fund the first sonic vibrator. Now there's nothing wrong with trying to get funding for a vibrator. The variety of causes on indiegogo is diverse and includes those heartbreaking, breath taking, and down right crazy. People fund all different campaigns, and that's great. People choose to fund things that inspire them, bring them hope, give hope or help to others, and that bring them pleasure. I'm not judging anyone for what they choose to fund. But as we struggle to raise $5,000, it was interesting to see that with 15 days to go - the same as my husband's book - the vibrator had been over funded. 507 people had contributed $68.842! And the least amount they had given, the lowest perk, was $130.
And that got me thinking about how people spend their money. What they are willing to back financially, and what they think is just a nice idea. It caused me to think about the crowdfunding campaigns I've supported, which include: top surgery for a transgender person, summer camp for a teen, a tasting room for a cidery, and a book of poetry. What caused me to contribute to each one, even though we don't have any money to spare? What does it say about who I am and what I support, what I'm for. I support people in being who they are, following their passions and having experiences that encourage them. What do you support? What are you For?
If you would want to help provide parents with an awesome parenting resource, and help my husband follow his passion and realize his dream of getting a book published, please visit his indiegogo site: Radical Family! Parenting.
If you don't, I understand. We all have different causes that speak to our souls, inspire us to give, change the way we live, or give us a reason to get up in the morning. Ultimately, it's my hope that we will focus on promoting what we love instead of bashing what we hate. We can support each others passions simply by being aware that there are endless causes in the world and each one is important to someone.
And as a parent we can also remember that our children will find their own causes. As I explored in my previous blog post, If it's important to you, It's important to me.
Not too long ago, my friend Jeff challenged people to post what they were For on facebook, instead of posting what they were against. I decided to write out a statement of what I am for as a reminder to myself. Here's what I came up with:
I'm for recognizing that children are people, and people sometimes need support in getting their needs met. I'm also for remembering that other people's needs are at least as important as mine.
I'm for crocheting, gardening, chickens, baking, music, spending time with the people I love, and solitude.
I'm for making mistakes, trying again, trying something different, and moving on when that's the best thing to do.
I'm for following passions, chasing dreams and not giving up on myself or anyone else.
♥ What are you for?
UPDATE: Jess' book has been published and is available through The Book Patch.