Ask, and Ye May Receive. But Stay Silent And…

Handing Out Literature 2

I don’t understand the evangelists who stand at my train station every morning.

That’s not to say I don’t like them. They seem like sincere, polite people, attempting to spread their faith in their particular religion. But in the seven years I have seen them standing there with their reading materials, whether they are wearing brightly-colored sun bonnets or skull caps and down coats, they have never once offered me a pamphlet or even tried to engage me in conversation.

Now granted, perhaps I am not their target demo. In fact, my physical presentation makes me quite sure of that. And if they did ask me a question or hand me a pamphlet, I would politely decline and wish them a good day.

But here’s the thing: they’ve never even tried. And by not engaging with me, they don’t even know whether I would be receptive to what they are offering.

The same holds true for business: if you don’t ask, you are certain to not get. And no business can survive on that strategy.

“F-U Sandy” Friday ShareDay

Strong Island

[tweetmeme source=”jodyfisher”only_single=false

Apologies for the title on this post, but I think it’s what a lot of us are thinking this week.

There has been so much loss in the New York area this week, thanks to Hurricane Sandy.

Homes destroyed by fire in Breezy Point and Mantoloking. Decimated communities along the coast in New Jersey and Long Island. New York City subways and commuter rail lines – the nation’s largest transit system – stopped dead in its tracks by flooded tunnels and downed power lines. Even days after the storm, hundreds of thousands of people remain without electricity and heat and waiting in line for hours to fill their car gas tanks.

And we’re the lucky ones.

We’ve seen the best – and in some cases, the worst – that humanity has to offer this week. My only hope is that we keep up the steady progress we seem to be making to get back to some degree of normal.

And yet in all this destruction, loss and even death, there is also opportunity.

We have a chance to self-analyze: to see where we have fallen down and where we have gaps in our defenses against all that life can thrown at us. The best thing we can do is to learn, so we’re ready the next time something like this comes our way. Because it will.

This tragedy also presents an opportunity to reconnect with the people in our neighborhoods and our workplaces. Those people we see, but maybe don’t stop to get to know. Maybe someone next door to you, or down the road, needs help. What’s stopping you from knocking on their door and offering a warm meal, a hot shower, or a place to stay for one cold night?

Every Friday on this blog, we usually share pieces of awesome digital content in the hopes that we can draw something from it and make us better.

Today, I’d invite you to post something below that you’ve done to help someone you know, or a website where you can give help directly to a community in need.

I’ll start. Please join me. Let’s do this together.