Awesome Member of the Week: Kevin Van Lierop, A Local and Global Citizen Awesome Member of the Week: Kevin Van Lierop, A Local and Global Citizen

Awesome Member of the Week: Kevin Van Lierop, A Local and Global Citizen

by Kevin Van Lierop

March 12, 2014

GOOD is featuring interviews of devoted members each week on Kevin Van Lierop is a civic hacker and social entrepreneur.

The last time I did good

I have a hard time taking credit for the good things I do. Like many in the community, I’m probably too humble and happy enough to be able to help out and contribute where I can. No credit needed.

With that said, I sent out invitations to my neighbors the other day to plan a street party using Block Party in a Box*. I’m hoping to help connect everyone on my street so we can build a happier community.

Oh, and I called my mom the other day, which always is a good thing to do and something I don’t do enough.

A ‘Do’ I want to share with the world

Take pride in where you live.

For better or worse, the towns, cities, counties etc. where we wake up in the morning and fall asleep at night are the places we call home. While not perfect, these places are our homes and if we don’t take pride and ownership over them who will?

What I find most amazing about the places we call home is the fact that they are the one thing, above all else, that we have in common with each other in our cities. We may speak different languages, have different political or religious views, be of different ages etc. but if we live in the same place we are all citizens of that place; it is the one thing that connects us all.

We need to celebrate the places we live, increase awareness of them, take pride in them and be connected to them.

Worst advice I’ve ever gotten

“Don’t listen to what other people say about you.”

This is complete baloney.

You need to listen to what others are saying about you to help develop you as a person.

With that said, you need to be selective who you’re listening to.

Pay attention to the people you respect and admire and what they’re saying about you and the things you do. If you respect them enough you should respect their honest opinions too. Ignore the trolls and those that don’t show you the respect you deserve.

Haters gonna hate.

I ignored everyone for a period of time and it had an adverse affect. I wasn’t getting the feedback I needed or the emotion boost that I think we all require on some level. I tried to block out the bad voices by blocking out all of the voices. That was the wrong approach.

Book I’d recommend

I love reading and there’s a relationship with a physical book that I’ve never been able to recreate with its digital counterpart. While now I primarily read non-fiction (I re-read The Death and Life of Great American Cities every year) growing up my favourite read was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. From time to time I’ll still pick it up to get lost in my own imagination.

With that said, the book I’d recommend isn’t technically a book.

The best thing I read each and every day is the Caesura Letters. It’s a daily publication that I get delivered to my inbox but you can purchase a physical, quarterly copy if you like.

It claims to be “a magazine dedicated to the art of finding new perspectives” and it is.

It’s the most insightful, digestible and thoughtful writing I consume on a daily basis. At the end of each week I feel like I’m better prepared, with a broader perspective on life, to take on the week to come. It seems a bit romantic, but this publication has changed my life.

I highly recommend the Caesura Letters to anyone looking to grow as an individual.

My manifesto

These questions really aren’t easy.

This is where I’m supposed to say something like:

Stay Calm Carry On.
Don’t stop believing.
[insert your favourite out of context line here]



* full disclosure: I created Block Party in a Box.

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Awesome Member of the Week: Kevin Van Lierop, A Local and Global Citizen