I remember when I was on the performance treadmill (also known as “the grind”), I contacted a reputable guy in my field who was based in New York. My email was basically like, “This is who I am. This is what I’ve done. I love what you are doing within this movement. How can I be down with this cause.”
His response, pretty much: “It’s nice to meet you. You’re doing impressive work, but we really don’t need any more help up here. Focus on your own community.”
As I was writing this blog, I thought about that exchange and how I so badly wanted to be a part of someone else’s cause– a cause that I really didn’t fit into, but because of my field, it just seemed like being involved would add to my resume and success story…
I see things differently now.
When it comes to making a difference, there’s a simple formula out there: Gift + Issue = Change. This formula can be used for global, national, state, or local impact.
Since moving back to Mississippi, I’ve realized that I can help affect meaningful change on a communal level. And local efforts do matter when it comes to state and national impact.
I’m a change-maker with an assigned territory. The goal is for my territory to expand. My prayer is for increase. But God had to humble me first. After coming home, I discovered a new equation:
My abilities + My experience + My training + Love = My Cause.
Causes can be difficult to pinpoint. I remember when I was fighting causes that were not mine OR fighting causes I didn’t fully understand. There was also an era when I wanted to fight every cause.
If you want a purpose driven life, but you can’t seem to identify your cause, I recommend using one or both of the above equations. Get specific about your impact and see if you can answer the ultimate question… what (or who) matters most?
When you find a cause you believe in, you not only make an impact, but you also live with greater purpose.
Clinnesha is a writer, wife, mom, meta-artist, and social entrepreneur who feels most accountable to southern, black citizen-artists, elders, children, and families. Her work is at the intersection of arts, culture, innovation, and community.