What We Have vs. What We Lack

Brett McNaughtWhat changes when we look at what communities have vs. what they lack? According to Brett McNaught, VP of International Programs for buildOn, that mindset changes everything!

In my latest podcast for the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Brett shared stories of what that mindset looks like in action.

He shared what it looks like in what are often considered “high risk” U.S. communities, when we assume kids in after-school programs have gifts to GIVE, not just needs to be addressed.

And he shared what it looks like when we make the same assumptions about building schools in villages in developing nations.

I confess I was excited about doing this interview, and Brett’s stories and examples justified my excitement.  Imagine what changes when instead of lamenting a corrupt government system, we celebrate that the people living within that system have the skills to maneuver and get things done. Imagine what just that shift of mindset makes possible!

And imagine what it makes possible when those same individuals finally have a school in their community, increasing literacy and increasing the possibility that one day the system will not be corrupt.  Imagine further what it makes possible when the people build that school themselves, building it upon the resources they DO have.

If you can begin to imagine all that, you are really going to enjoy this interview!

You can listen to the interview streaming online, or download it to your MP3 player and listen on the way to work (or as you’re working out).

Stream here from the Chronicle’s site.

Download here from iTunes

Once you’ve listened, please join the discussion that is in progress at LinkedIn – digging deeper into the possibilities that arise when we change our mindset from “what we lack” to “what we have.”  (If you have not already joined the Making Change group at LinkedIn, you can join the group AND the conversation at this link. )

So what do you think it would look like if a mindset of aspiration and abundance were the norm for community benefit work?

And what would it take to make that so?

I can’t wait to hear what you think after listening to this terrific interview.

Photo: Brett McNaught with buildOn staff members in Nepal.

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