The Search for Meaning

Arianna Huffington was the morning Keynote Speaker at the Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp for Non-Profit, Saturday in Berkeley, CA. I was looking forward to her speech. I enjoy Arianna on KCRW’s Left, Right, and Center and usually agree with her editorials in The Huffington Post. I knew it would be a good speech – an inspiring and thought-provoking speech. It was a lot more.

“Tell your Story, so others can be inspired to action”

– Arianna Huffington

photo by Darius Dunlap CC-BY

In a time when everyone seems to be focusing on the financial effects of the current problems, Arianna instead emphasized caring, love, compassion, and meaning. She told us to think beyond the services we provide, the food, shelter, counseling, and money. We need to think instead about the people, how our services effect their lives, how compassion and and love make a difference.

While we grow physically by what we get, we grow spiritually by what we give.

– Arianna Huffington

As a business strategy for non-profits, this is also an important point. An organization that attends to the core meaning of their work will be better positioned for growth when the economic climate improves. They’ll also do a better job if facing tough decisions about their programs and services, staffing, or future direction.

If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito

– Arianna Huffington

Photo by Darius Dunlap CC-BY

We also need to share our stories. By telling our stories, we might inspire others to action. By telling our stories, we remind ourselves why we do what we do and what it was that made us make this commitment.

Even in a room full of people who are doing good and meaningful work, it was an excellent reminder. Thanks, Arianna!