2015 turned out to be a year of many, many thoughts. Early on, some events revealed that this would be the year where the great Universe would send me no freebies. I should do it myself, whatever it was. I did it, as it turns out, and I had a handful of time to think (to put it lightly.) I hired the best coach ever, and allowed her lessons to distill. Whatever it was, I gave it my best. I'm still here, alive, and somewhat transformed, with a few major take-aways.
One of these take-aways is that I should really be doing more design now that Web Design and I see eye-to-eye. More on that later.
There are also millions of possibilities out there for Data Art. This is another take-away, and I should be doing more information design and data design, as well as data art. I should immerse. This is a fundamental change that will take time and exposure - my exposure to it, not it to me.
Another is that financial responsibility is not the beast I thought it was. More on that if you and I ever speak in person.
The biggest one, though, is that I really want to be working for a better world. I started Petroglyph because in 2010, prospects were slim to find a job that would pay me what I was worth where I lived. I left my job and started it, then, to create a better world for myself.
Now, I live this better world every day, buuuuuut not everyone does. And when I look around, I changed some things for myself but what I have done has impacted only a handful of others (my clients for whom I have created some online value,) but it's not enough. The change needs to be bigger, more helpful, more far reaching. I can volunteer, but my time out of work is best spent raising my young family at this tender and formative time. I could invent things that took massive amounts of time in research to understand problems in ways others have not before.
Or, I could donate.
Donation is like voting for what you want to see in the world. If money is truly a work-credit system, bolstering a group that can *actually do what you can't is like working for them and their goal in fits and spurts. While I've cared deeply about the work of not-for-profit groups that truly removes, easies, or stops any kind of suffering in the world, the thought I had given to how to work this into my life had been mostly halted by different insecurities and other kinds of silencing thoughts. In gardening, the best advice is often to start slow and small. Get to know your limits, and get to know growth and obstacles thereof, from where you work. I read gardening magazines daily, sometimes over and over, and the startling abundance of these gardens is always the result of a suitable ecosystem, hard work, and smart, thoughtful, incremental changes. Applying this to Petroglyph, I could start something small now and just see what I'm ready for when it grows bigger than this.
This holiday season, I found myself giving madly to many organizations that asked. My favorite gift I gave was to heifer.org - a flock of chicks and a family support pack which included a sheep and a few other things for a family to become self-sufficient and even turn a profit. I was exhausted early of my budget, and queries that arrived later had to be ignored. This left me feeling helpless, like I couldn't do enough. The answer to this, (because what good is guilt, anyway?) is to donate all year round.
Starting in 2016, Petroglyph will be making a donation for every new contract signed.
The charities that Petroglyph will support on a rotating basis will be:
- Heifer.org (International) - Donations empower populations in impoverished areas everywhere with livestock, education, business skills, and more; eliminating world poverty one family at a time.
- The United Way - (International or Central New Mexico) Donations empower children and adults all over the world or locally with life-changing educational opportunities, and create community around organized volunteer opportunities in support of educational opportunities or the elimination of poverty.
- The Young Survival Coalition - (United States) Donations provide services and support to young women affected by Breast Cancer. Caroline volunteers as a local state leader for this organization.
- Roadrunner Food Bank (New Mexico) - Donations to this organization feed New Mexico families.
- New Mexico Pets Alive (New Mexico) - Donations assist with rescue and rehoming efforts of dogs all around the state and the mounting veterinary bills surrounding such efforts.
The clients who sign these contracts will have the chance to pick a charity out of the rotation or just go with the next one. Donations for new contracts will start at $50 and possibly go up.
The reason for these choices is that all of these charities do fantastic work that I, myself have witnessed and eliminate or ease systemic suffering of populations of people or animals. The reason I created Petroglyph was to help myself be more creative and to ease suffering. These charities continue a mission that I have, yet cannot personally go and see to and work on every day. With a mission that burns at me every day such as this, it's simply not enough to give once a year, or just think about giving. Giving needs to be built-in, as one of the rules.
This year, and beyond, Petroglyph looks forward to alignment with and supporting organizations across the world that ease suffering. Do you like our mission? You may hire us OR just give today. The more commitments we have to a world without suffering, the closer we will get.