The GOOD "Connect with People" Wrapup: Making the World a Friendlier Place

Sometimes real change begins with a handshake and a "hello."

For September's GOOD challenge, we asked you to do something different than in challenges of yore. Whereas past challenges found you doing things like trying vegetarianism or giving up the internet for a full month, this time we wanted you to participate in a series of daily tasks that all related to a broader goal: to connect with people. "The technology of our world is a truly beautiful, convenient, and life-altering thing," said the introductory post. "And as much as it's helped us connect in ways our grandparents never thought possible, it's also created a culture in which we take the easiest option to communicate instead of the best option."

Four weeks later, the challenge to connect was perhaps our biggest success to date, and we'll be adopting the format of small daily tasks for future challenges. Not only did we engage in new and better ways with the people around us, the GOOD community participated en masse to make the world an authentically friendlier place. Whether it was emailing someone you've only spoken to via Twitter, lending out a book you love, teaching someone how to do something, or leaving a nice comment on a stranger's blog, people actively participated with the world in a way many only talk about. Some especially nice readers even took time to send postcards and emails to our offices in Los Angeles, all of which made the office rounds many times over.

Fixing the globe's many problems is not easy work, with financial, technological, and political realities often standing in the way of progress. That said, it's necessary to remember that it's even harder to overcome life's obstacles when we don't feel comfortable reaching out to one another for support and knowledge. For all the good Facebook and Twitter have done, sometimes real change begins with a handshake and a "hello." Here's hoping some real change started this month.

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