While pondering the meaning of Thanksgiving over this long weekend, I realized that thankfulness is a powerful motivator for good.
I also realized that thankfulness often leads to dead ends.
Yes, we’re thankful for family, friends, iPods, a job, etc., but how often do we only spend time/money in our own little worlds, not reaching out and becoming agents for creating a better world?
To that end I propose the above depicted model for developing a ‘Thankful World’ filled with relationships and innovations that go beyond personal consumption – a world in which we we’re concerned about more than ourselves.
How does the process work?
Generally, it works by peeling away our personal likes to realize the deeper human needs and motivations of ourselves and hence the many.
Specifically, it’s simple: Ask yourself what you’re thankful for. Ask if you can provide it to others. If you can, do it. If you can’t, ask yourself why what you’re thankful for is important to you. Do this until you find something that you can provide to others and then do it.
The model also includes a limiting aspect loosely based upon the 5 Whys to test the sustainability of our solutions.
Why a limiting factor?
My reasoning is that if the object/subject we’re thankful for does not lead to philanthropic behavior after 5 rounds of introspective thought, then it’s quite possible that what we’re thankful for might not really be needed in the first place.
What do you think of this model? Could it lead to better social design? Could it lead to a better world? Could it lead to more pertinent and sustainable innovation?