The Power of Us

Community

Com·mu·ni·ty

/kəˈmyo͞onədē/

noun

A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals

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When we set off on our Never Forget journey earlier this year, our first priority was to figure out how we would best participate in helping the endangered Asian elephant crisis in Thailand.  The Thai elephants, after all, are the reason why Never Forget exists. Six of us from all corners of the world came together for our one common goal: figure out how to change the hearts and minds of people from around the world to care for elephants just like we do.

But just how would we do this?  We scribbled notes, read articles, filed papers with the government, met with lawyers, slogged through sleepless nights and talked to as many experts as we could.  It is easy to write words on a piece of paper and have meetings to help save elephants. But what does “help save elephants” actually mean? Anyone can write those words, but few will see these dreams come true.  How do we go about showing up in a way that will actually help save one of the most iconic species of the world in a way that means more than just words written on paper?

Turns out, saving this species is not about the 6 of us at Never Forget at all.  Saving elephants arguably is also about more than saving these precious animals. When we looked at our mission holistically, at the 36,000 foot view of where we are collectively at this moment in time, our mission suddenly became about us as a global community, exponentially larger than what we could have expected.  And at that moment we realized the power of community.

There’s something about community that brings comfort.  Comfort knowing that the person next to you, who may be a stranger, unexpectedly becomes your friend through a set of common values.  Comfort knowing that you share beliefs with others for a purpose that is important to you. And most of all, there is comfort in the wisdom of community.  That wisdom is the result of centuries of collective experience and a vast array of viewpoints from different corners of the world. The feeling of community results in confidently knowing we are stronger as a sum of our parts together than we are individually.

“When we looked at our mission holistically, at the 36,000 foot view of where we are collectively at this moment in time, our mission suddenly became about us as a global community, exponentially larger than what we could have expected.  And at that moment we realized the power of community.”

And that is how our mission of community was born.  Written here in a few paragraphs it may not seem like much, but we can feel the low, consistent beat of it rising.  We feel the presence of the community we are building through thoughtful emails from you, the questions we wake up to on our social media and the words of encouragement in our personal inboxes.  Never Forget will never be about those of us in the Foundation, but rather, it will be about all of us, working towards one common goal of bringing elephants home. Elephants belong to nature and without you, there is no community and there is no mission.  But together with you, we have an incredible opportunity to build the most compassionate and effective group of people, linked together by one common goal. Today, we are met with a challenge to arrive to a place together where we put our egos aside and work for the greater good of the elephants and for us.  Let’s dream big and do our best as we link our arms and take the next step in welcoming each other with open hearts.

Please join our conversation by clicking on the social media links below and following us there. From all of us at Never Forget, thank you for believing in us and for believing in the power of community.

For the Elephants,

All of us at Never Forget Elephant Foundation

AVA LALANCETTE