Awesome Member of the Week: Amanda Fung Engages in Conversations About Business, Charity, and Global Development
GOOD is featuring interviews of devoted members each week on good.is. Amanda Fung is an aspiring changemaker and founder of the blog beyondbeadsandbaskets.com.
Best advice I've ever gotten
The best advice I ever received came in the form of a question: "Do you feel you are fulfilling your potential?" This question made me really evaluate whether I had been making the most of my life. At any given time, we each have a unique combination of knowledge, skills, experiences, education, resources, network of influence, and opportunities, in addition to passions and interests. If we want to help solve the world's greatest problems or even just make our lives count for something, we have to honestly ask ourselves whether we're making the most of what we've got and, if not, what we can be doing differently. One of the greatest things about potential is that it's not fixed. Every new day and every new experience stretches us or exposes us to something/someone new. You can fulfill your potential one day, but the next day have a new level of potential to fulfill. The key is choosing to be humble and teachable, denying comfortable ignorance or undue arrogance in favor of the unlimited possibilities that come with learning, growing and collaborating. It's a daily choice to make our lives count and it requires a daily commitment to fulfill our [new] potential.
Worst advice I've ever gotten
"Stop being yourself. It intimidates others." Okay, so maybe it wasn't spoken in those exact words, but that's the message that I and many others I know have heard in various forms over the years. I'm not sure whether it's meant to be some kind of backwards compliment, but I do know that it has come across as discouraging to many a passionate, talented, smart, or successful individual. I've always found that greatness, in any form, tends to produce two reactions: 1) intimidation and insecurity, or 2) appreciation and inspiration. Choose to practice the latter reaction when you encounter someone spectacular and try not to let others' insecurities keep you from letting out whatever greatness has been instilled in you. After all, your best self is what will serve society best.
Book I'd recommend
"The Penguin and the Leviathan: How Cooperation Triumphs over Self-Interest" by Yochai Benkler
A 'Do' I want to share with the world
Do something that offers compassion to families who lost loved ones on MH370 instead of treating the story like a soap opera.
My dad. My dad must be one of the most brilliant, hard-working, generous men I know. He has overcome tremendous obstacles and has achieved so much. He has shown me that it is entirely possible to have a successful, profitable business that operates responsibly, ethically and with integrity. He taught me how to honour, respect, appreciate and invest in people who are different from me. Without knowing it, his work on various boards and various projects has inspired much of my interest in social good.
My favorite teacher
Mr. Weber was my grade seventh math teacher. He saw potential in me that was beyond my capacity at the time and quite simply went after it. In a matter of weeks, I was applying grade 10 math concepts, in addition to keeping up with my regular homework. But more valuable than the math skills he taught me was the confidence he instilled in me to believe that I could do far more than I may have otherwise thought possible.
Make the most of what you've been given.
Why you should care about Syria
Syria's civil war has been ongoing for over three years now. Millions have been internally displaced, millions have fled to neighbouring countries and over 100,000 are said to have been killed. While the media has largely stopped reporting on the story, many continue to suffer. Despite UN peace talks, there is no clear end in sight. So why should you care? I wrote about this in more detail here.
My biggest goal for 2014
Relocate to Rwanda and continue inspiring social good by posting regularly on my blog beyondbeadsandbaskets.com and engaging people in conversations about business, charity and development.