Contributing to the Masses

Mirroring a post by my other half, and the consistent message from the conference I’m attending, we all need to consider what we are contributing to the masses.

Today I did something really exciting.  I participated in an abstract exchange for the UCEA conference (a bunch of educational leaders and researchers, new scholars and seasoned sages).  My dissertation topic (perceptions of students with disabilities regarding their reasons for persisting in higher education) is exciting to me; however, is it exciting to other people?  My advisors and colleagues, sure. But other scholars?

Each participant in the abstract exchange had 3 minutes to address his or her abstract.  There were 10 of us, so we pushed 2 round tables together and went around the table in turn.  How was my topic received? Everyone said they enjoyed it on the feedback cards.  A few people caught me after to chat about my topic and I even received several business cards asking me to send my completed paper.  Why did this happen?  Was my topic good? Well, I suppose.  But why did I get such a reaction out of my audience? Passion.  I am very passionate about my topic and what I do.

I know there are many people out there who are passionate about what they do, inspired by something they read, or even just curious about something they have experienced.  It is so very important to contribute and to not stop contributing.  How else are we going to move forward as a society?  We are all very intelligent beings.  We each have something to contribute to the vast collective of knowledge.  It is vast, but not all knowing – so much left to uncover!

So many of us are armchair critics.  It’s easier to gripe about what others have or have not done than to do ourselves.  Go forth. Blog. Edit Wikipedia. Make a solid review on Amazon. Just contribute!