As if in a distant dream, Chicagoans able to make the SOCAP pilgrimage would return to our middle lands with their eyes widened to the world of social imagination. They would regale me with tales of wondrous caverns of collective SOCAP conference knowledge such as capital being used for “good”, denizens packing themselves like sardines into Mission street coffeeshops to “work”, and how before any successful launch innovation is dictated by a Delores Park oracle dressed as a “hipster,” only identified by his crystal necklace made from recycled Bi-Rite waste. You can imagine my intrigue from those three elements alone, I’m sure.
A wise book once said, “ When you want something, the universe conspires in helping you achieve it”. And now, over a year later, I am making my own journey to volunteer with SOCAP. Sidenote: I asked around: the Bi-Rite crystal is merely old wives tale to scare people from waiting in that god-awful line. Thank God!
One of my favorite questions to ask awesome people I met is how they ended up on the path they did. Several months ago I asked Ron Grzywinski, one of the founders of Shorebank here in Chicago, and his response was something along the lines of “I don’t know, accident really. I was walking on Michigan Avenue after work, and I saw all businessmen all looking the same, dressing the same, walking the same direction. I was faced the other direction– and I knew I was different”.
As SOCAP’s newest volunteer, I’m already on my way to this magical place where money meets meaning. Interestingly enough, the word volunteer has a meaning we don’t often associate with it: a cultivated plant growing from self-sown or accidentally dropped seed. What are you looking to cultivate during your time at SOCAP? Yourself? Others? Is it intentional? Or more accidental? Remember these wise words: the intrinsic value is about the path, not the result.
More of my path to plant next week!