Innovate with purpose: Use social media for social good
The following is the speech of actor and environmentalist John Arcilla during the 2017 Manila Social Good Summit at Samsung Hall, SM Aura on Saturday, September 16.
Where do we want to bring this country? Where do you want to bring this planet? We are social beings whether we like it or not. It is not a decision. It is not a choice. It is what we are. It is nature.
Maybe you want to consider yourself an individualist? Or opted to be called as one. "Do your thing and I'll do mine. Thank you"? It won't happen.
Aren't you eating? Aren't we all eating our meals? Don't you visit banks or a cafe? Aren't you dreaming of a nice house or travelling to an amazing place, even alone? (WATCH: Innovate with Purpose: Leave No One Behind #2030NOW)
Well, thanks to those who cooked the food for you or if you cook it yourself. Thank God to those farmers who toiled their sweats out just to grow those crops you have cooked today; and to those boatmen and women, and helpers who brought these crops to your pan; or to your personal favorite grocery store. (WATCH: 2017 #InspireCourage +SocialGood stories)
Thanks to that Grab service who brought you to your office or bank or cafe, he may be annoying but you've survived it and life goes on...
Thanks to those architects and laborers who built our houses. Thanks to those creator of Facebook and other social medai platforms and all their staff who keep on creating innovations for you to enjoy, or express your significant daily creeds and "whew" rants.
We are surrounded by people whether we choose it or not. You are not alone and they are not, too! That farmer just bought a new book for his son now and it came from the money that you've just put in the cycle. That boatman just bought medicine for his wife now and that Grab manong just learned lessons from you today or vice versa.
No one is alone. There is no escape. Everything that will happen around you and to your society will happen to you. Everything you'll do and will not do will affect the people around you. (READ: #MovePH: How social media and technology are changing you)
So caring is such a natural thing. The cycle of giving back and receiving or getting is natural. Being uncaring is perverse. It is like you are trying not to eat for life.
Being nice is not a big deal too. It is as natural as waking up and resting, to recuperate, or to unwind.
We don't need to underline kindness – it is actually our purpose – unkindness is unnatural. When someone is less privileged or weaker than you, you naturally send compassion – a hand, a token, a signal of sympathy or love. They may be your family, your siblings, neighbors, your dog, or plants.
We are interconnected. (READ: Social media for social change)
It means we cannot just do anything, say anything, post anything without thinking of its effect to someone in your circle or to a group of people who will read it. Choosing words to say is not hypocrisy. I think it is prudence. It is polite. It is human. I believe that everything we do or say creates an energy, a ripple. And it will bring back another ripple or a big wave at you, at us.
Not making a choice is actually a choice. We are actually empowering the other side of what is bothering us. (READ: The choices before you)
Wherever you want to bring this country, wherever you want to bring your life will be up to you. It will be up to us. Our country's progress can bring advantage to each and everyone's existence – our country's pain or demise will make us fall. It will make everybody fall.
I don't believe in colors – politically or racially speaking. Let us not go there. Let us think of everybody's welfare. (READ: Dynasties in democracies: The political side of inequality)
What is innovation? We benefit from it. If we will benefit from innovation as individuals but it will make us disconnected, what is innovation for? What is good technology? If technology will make us dull, non-analytical, and irresponsible, what is technology for?
Why can't we innovate on how to fix relationships? An approach that is something new but the value is intact. How about technology to make us close as human beings instead of prompting hate culture? Or worse, divided as a nation, divided as citizens of this planet?
I think it is better to use innovation and technology for the benefit of everyone. Let us promote compassion, good values, gratitude, peace and harmony through our innovations and newfound technologies.
If we think we don't want to be part of the movers to push the innovation "with a heart," at least let us learn the virtue of gratitude. Let us all be thankful to these developments and cycle of life which were actually brought by other human beings that we don't bother to notice or we don't see but are making our lives better. Gratitude and getting lessons from the past can push the evolution of humanity forward, depending on how we use it.
This is the very reason why I think being sensible is a responsibility. Our neglect and apathy will bring everyone in a lonely land sooner or sooner.
Let us innovate with purpose. When we post something, think of the welfare of others. Think of the positive energy it can create. Think of the people who will be inspired. Think of a society that you want to have. A planet that we want to be safe to live in.
When we innovate, or when we upgrade, ask ourselves – "What is it for?"
We are the highest form of animals, we just don't rant just because we like it. If that is our disposition, we should not blame anyone why there is a culture of hate or killings that is going on around us all over the planet and all over our nation these days. We have created the environment that we have now. We are the ones who created the country that we have now. We brought our planet to where it is now in the name of climate change and extinction.
Next time, when we think of innovation and technology, think again. What kind of person do I want to be? Where do I want to bring this country? What do I want this planet to be made of? – Rappler.com
John Arcilla is an actor and environmentalist best known for playing the role of the protagonist Antonio Luna in the historical epic film Heneral Luna.
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The Social Good Summit 2017 in the Philippines will challenge us to examine the purpose of innovation and ask the critical questions: Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?
The event is happening on Saturday, September 16. For interested participants, see more details here.