This blog was established in 2010 as part of this initiative called the 10 City Bridge Run to ask how we might use our networks to improve the delivery of child survival.
Some of you might have noticed that I am now talking about the need to improve the mental wellbeing among veterans, more than issues relating to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
What is this about? Have I lost focus? Is this a sign of me being temperamental? The answer to both of those last two questions is a definite ‘no’.
The 10 City Bridge Run remains squarely focused on child survival. I have realised over the past years (yes, years…how ridiculous is that. I never thought this would consume so much of my time, but at the same time I have no complaint. It is worth my time and energy) that engaging with the institutions and issues surrounding child survival involves more than just throwing a couple of information nights with a little bit of ‘design thinking’ thrown in and reading couple of books by rock star authors.
In order to engage in this process of change, I had to develop my ability to better understand collaboration and social impact. It is one thing to have an opinion about these things that you can crow about over a latte with friends, but it is another matter entirely to put it into practice.
Part of the decision to embrace the Marine Corps Marathon under the umbrella of the citizen-led initiative which I have called the 10 City Bridge Run is to help me to improve my ability to be useful in these areas.
Additionally, it has also taken me back to the roots from where the 10 City Bridge Run began which was an initiative aimed at addressing suicide and depression.
I am learning more, and consequently becoming more effective at helping to stimulate game changing impact.
I would be interested in your thoughts. Tell me if you are satisfied with this apparent detour, or whether you think it is an unnecessary distraction. Either way, I hope you will continue to follow me and challenge me with your comments and questions which itself is a much needed form of support.
The video below talks about my motivation to get involved:
One thought on “Lost Focus?”
September 8, 2016 at 1:54 pm
I think both initiatives are a call to care, and in that sense they are well linked. I’m a big fan of capacity building and both these initiatives invite us to build our own and other others’ capacities, and as you’ve found, your journey is a catalyst and pathway to the growth of your own ability to generate and facilitate impact. Perhaps the focus on suicide and wellbeing brings a call to care closer to home, and the invitation to “+10” is a relatively easy stepping stone to realising change in our own and others lives on a small scale…and small scale can be just as impactful as larger scale. I’m actually finding it empowering, not distracting, to join you on your running quest for the Mission Continues in the marathon. If I can affect change or outcomes for you and for me in ten minutes a day, imagine what I could contribute to a larger cause.
There’s a change cycle that identifies discovery, understanding and integration as the later parts of the change process (following loss, doubt and discomfort). Discovery can include having creative thoughts and being energised; understanding may be typified by confidence and productivity; and integration will see us focused and generous. I think this detour to the wellbeing and mental health of veterans (and ourselves) certainly gives us the means to be operating in this part of change…which we can then carry into engagement on child survival.
I am put in mind of that marvellous quote of Margaret Mead’s (which I think appears somewhere on your blog): “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”