A group of activists discussed creating change. Too often, the context of activism tore people down. Not just the brutal candidate campaigns or attacks on public workers. But their own calls to action were often asking for expressions of anger or conflict: divest from unsustainable industry, halt a Big Box, protest worker treatment, boycott warlike regimes. The campaigns remained important. Too often participants felt a little weaker afterwards—a little more tired, a little poorer, and a little grumpier. Altruism for social justice and change felt depleting and empty at times.
An all volunteer team gathered—recovering politician, leadership professor, budding sociologist, web designer, journalist, programmer, young mom, photographer, accountant, illustrator, and more. Every week, they shared thanks and identified people to appreciate and support in real ways. They felt happier. Research confirmed it.
They organized what they called “superthank” events. First was a flash thank-you for an activist couple who built a friendship network at the local suicide bridge. Second was crowd-funding for a Liberian man arming youth in his war-torn country with books and democracy instead of AK-47s.
They called it radical community gratitude. And they wanted to spread it. They worked to build crowdsourcing tools to achieve their big hairy communal goal—promoting a billion acts of radical community gratitude… for stuff that matters.