I believe that, deep down, everyone wants to help. But as humans gathered together in larger and larger numbers, this universal understanding was forgotten and we began to see other people as not like us. When we lived together in small communities it was easy to remember as we either saw the helping going on, or we heard about it.
As our global village grew, the conversations were taken over by the broadcasting media and their content twisted to reflect only those events that were negative. No longer would we discover all of the good that people were doing, instead, people were to be distrusted, even feared and suddenly we all felt alone and powerless.
And then along came social networks. Now we could talk directly to these people and discover what it was they really were… the same as us.
A fiend of mine expressed how amazed he was at the way total strangers help each other out within these networks, but I replied to him by saying that “it’s not the desire to help that is amazing, it’s that we can all hear about it”. That friend was Simeon Stewart and we were discussing his new start-up (http://www.cofacio.com) that hopes to tap into this longing to help and convert it into donations for charity.
I will pause here and state that I have agreed to help Sim in any way I can to make Cofacio a success. This is not simply because of any monetary reward, but because I truly believe in what Cofacio stands for. I have experimented with the idea of crowdsourcing knowledge with one of my own projects (http://www.eureka140.com), but what Cofacio does is to add that extra something which makes the effort especially worthwhile.
As you give, or ask, for help on Cofacio you accumulate points which can be donated to various good causes. Once a cause reaches it’s target the funds, actual hard currency, are passed onto the charity to make their project a reality. It’s not just help, it’s help[squared].
Cofacio is currently running as a private beta (you can sign up for an invitation code on the homepage), but is due to go live very soon. In the meantime, why not exercise your writing muscle by helping write a 140 character introduction to the site. In return Cofacio will donate £200 to the winner’s chosen charity. All details of the competition can be found here.
I’ll leave you with one of my all-time favourite speeches, Charlie Chaplin’s inspiring words from ‘The Great Dictator’, and simply say…
We think too much and feel too little: More than machinery we need humanity; More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness.