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Are you with me?

As I sit here at the airport waiting for my flight I wonder where I am really going. My boarding pass says London Heathrow, but I am not sure that will be the end of this journey.  I am heading to London to go to the Activate Summit put on by the Guardian Newspaper:
Activate is the Guardian newspaper’s platform for leaders working across all sectors who are proving that, through the use of technology and the internet, we can make the world a better place.
I am not sure that I fit into the category of leader in this sector but I am certainly a believer in the power of technology and the internet to affect change in our world, or take it smaller, in our communities, or even smaller to those we live and interact with on a day to day basis.

For those of you who know me, recently I disappeared from the social networks and the internet. Gone completely. Deleted everything. (Not that easy to do actually, but I will save that for another blog post.) I had a blog and was on every possible network that there was.  At one point I realized that either all of this social media was taking over my life, or I was letting it. I am not sure which. Instead of slowing down I just stopped it all. Pulled the plug. Done. I do tend to be a little all or nothing.

In those few months off I slowed my life down. I took a break and stopped figuring out what I wanted to do, what I was going to be when I grew up and just watched the world go by. I wasn’t very happy doing it because I was disconnecting from everything and everyone. I have since realized that we must have a connection to each other of some kind. It is our human nature. Even though I was off all of the social networks, through friends I was sent a video or a blog now and then and then one day, someone sent me this video.

I watched the video and when it was over I sat there and stared at the screen and asked myself, “Who are you to play so small? Who are you to hide out from the world? Who are you to be anything less than you are or are supposed to be?”
Have you ever felt like that? I know I am not the only one.
And so I started getting reconnected. Slowly. As I did, an idea that I have been playing with came to me more strongly and I decided that I could no longer ignore it. From this idea I have started the social effect.
What is the social effect? I don’t know for sure yet. I know what I wrote on the about  page on this blog, on the splash page and on the Facebook, Twitter page and my LinkedIn page. I would say I am connected again wouldn’t you?
And here it is again:

Born from an idea that we are all connected and we want to be connected, the social effect is a project to see how we may better share ideas from one person to another, one community to another, one country to another, and eventually make this world into a connected community that the Internet has made possible.
We want to help, through the Internet and Social Media platforms, to understand the ever-changing global community. We believe that through posting, tweeting, blogging, and sharing videos we will help connect to each other in a meaningful way in the ultimate hope of making change. We believe that by thinking outside the box we will create possibilities that this world has been waiting for.

Lofty intentions? Maybe. But I have learned too many times that it is much easier to give up and turn back, to give up on ideas and dreams and passions. Or is it?
I think it may in the end be much easier to take a chance and to go where our heart guides us.
I hope you will come along with me. That is how this whole thing will work. The only chance it has. The only chance we all have to make the change we all talk about. How do we do it? By telling two friends, who tell two friends who….That simple? I think it might be. I am going to find out, and as I do, I will learn and share what I learn with all of you. I hope to get a few of you to join the team. If you are interested, it’s easy to find me.

It only takes one person to affect the world, and that person is each one of us. Are you with me?


About Simon Tooley

I was born in Winnipeg, moved to Montreal to study economics at McGill University and then studied fashion design in Paris. I worked in the fashion business for 20 years until I gave it all up to find the answers to life. I learned of course that there are no answers and so I decided to do what I always wanted to do and open a little shop. The shop is called Etiket and we sell the best beauty products and perfume available and a candle or two. I continue on my journey and I will see where it will take me. Part of the journey has always been writing, creating and giving. "Your soul doesn't care what you do for a living - and when your life is over, neither will you. Your soul cares only about what you are being while you are doing whatever you are doing." Neale Donald Walsch


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