Focallocal Positive Social Action Community
Today I want to introduce to you Andy Focallocal, the driving force behind the Focallocal Positive Social Action Community. Focallocal, an International Movement of Passionate and Proactive people, is built on the belief that lasting change is most effectively achieved when:
• Using positivity + friendly actions
• Created with local people, and mirroredin communities all over theWorld
• Made when many small ripplescome together creating a Globalwave of positivity
• Most importantly - when takingaction is Easy, Social, and FUN
Andy was kind enough to share with us his inspiring ideas and projects.
Hi Andy. Thank you for joining us on “Inspirational English”. Can you tell me how you came up with the idea of creating The Focallocal Community?
I needed to find a good cause to commit to, perhaps that would bring back the passion in life! ..but there are so many great causes in the World, how can I choose one over the others? This is an issue I think many people struggle with in life. I’ve been asked many times since I began Focallocal, how I was able to choose one and settle on it as my passion to chase after?
I was completely lost and had no idea where I was going when I launched Focallocal! I used it, and our events to explore different causes, paths and opportunities in life; searching for the one that would reignite that fire in my belly.
Slowly I came to realise that, for me, choosing one over the others just didn't feel right ..I wanted to help them all! After a lot of thought I realised that by inspiring others to make change on the things they felt were important, bringing communities together around local issues, and showing others how easy it is to take positive action to create change ..then I could make a difference to every good cause - and by connecting people and communities and inspiring everyone to take action themselves, I'd be protecting our World from divisive forces like Xenophobia and Sensationalism, as those who use these age-old tricks to gain and manipulate power have no effect in connected, friendly communities full of pro-active people.
The lesson I learnt was that it doesn't matter if you don't know where you are going in life; to find a good direction that'll bring meaning into your life you just need to pick something, anything; set a goal and begin working towards it. Once you are moving it’s easy to steer that forward momentum towards potential areas of interest, until you find one that makes your work enjoyable and rewarding.
The motto of the community is in the words of Ghandi: “Be the Change you want to see in the World”. What change do you want to see in the world?
This is the motto of our Action Centre. I'm not sure we have one official motto just yet, perhaps we should have. The change I want to see in the World is for everyone, everywhere to realise that it is not voting for, or protesting against politicians to bring peace and solve the major issues our societies face in this World. It’s not giving money to charities and hoping that they'll do it for you, either. It is only going to happen when everyone understands that we all have to take responsibility and make it happen where we live, right now - and that it is not difficult, it is easy and fun. I do this every day no-matter how busy I am, it’s so easy and fun to reach out to someone nearby and brighten their day with a small kind gesture, and the impact one little act can have on their day can be immense!
As a teacher I believe that students should be encouraged from a very early age to love, be kind and compassionate. How do you see the role of the modern teacher in a busy society?
If you mean in mainstream education I think modern teachers in the UK are under so much pressure to deliver high grades for political reasons, that only the very best teachers are able to give children the lessons they need and deserve about kindness, compassion, critical thinking, self-learning and philosophy - skills which can be learned, and i believe our society is suffering greatly from these not being the pillars of the education system. I guess if it was being taught properly i wouldn't be needed as all the young people would be sharing it around every day and infecting the older generations with their kindness. I'd be happily off on some other mission somewhere ..Probably on boat which permanently looks as if it is about to sink.
How can people join the FocalLocal Community?
By subscribing to the events in our Facebook Page and to post in our Facebook Group and ask what’s going on near you, or suggest an action you'd like to try there (you'll need to click notifications and select all, otherwise after a week or so you won’t receive any notifications at all ..Facebook isn’t a good base for us. Or by finding a project you like in our Action Centre, clicking on 'Chat' and saying hello to the people already there: http://action.focallocal.org/ You can also follow all the videos our amazing volunteer produce in our Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Focallocal We hope to move everything across to our website once a few more webdevelopers, UX/UI and graphic designers, join in the build.
Thank you, Andy