- Should social entrepreneurship be practiced in grade school?
- Can this passionate occupation bolster local economies and tone the vibrancy of what it means to have a cohesive community?
Understandably, not everyone wants to be entrepreneurial or may be fit to be an entrepreneur. It is a constant hustle with no one to tell you to move faster, slower or more precisely. There is no glamour in failing constantly and there is no one to pat you on the back when you succeed. But when the entrepreneur turns the focus on strengthening the fabric of their community the future begins to include a great number of people who’s hearts are moved to direct their own shoulders to the plow. Caring for others can become dynamic and unique. No large corporation has cornered the market on what it means to be a social entrepreneur. The wonderful aspect of this practice is that our own individuality can shine through our work to help others raise their quality of living. The social entrepreneur collaborates and listens to others. This is a humbling process. A young child may put forth and idea. An elderly women can bring insight to a community project. In this sense, opportunity usually comes in as a whisper.
Like a chess player who has a board filled with knights, rooks, bishops, kings, queens and pawns, the social entrepreneur realizes the power and mobility of each piece, while recognizing that the game can be won with a combination of any of them, including the pawns. In fact, pawns can be used to limit forward advancement, they can create walls, hold positions and deter the development of strategies and tactics from opponents. To that end, an increasingly effective and efficient ‘socent’ discards nothing and uses everything as they seek the success of their campaigns. The non-conformity of the ‘socent’ can also be likened to a rolling stone that gathers no moss. Being light on the feet, agile and ready to move on an idea or action is a skill that needs constant practice. This develops from a keen sense of self-awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses.
By knowing ourselves we take stock of how to rely on others at the right times. By being humble we invite others to better help us. We allow ourselves to become teachable. A pawn can teach a king. A knight can work with the rest of the game pieces to assure victory, though it may face sure defeat if it deems itself powerful enough to win the game on its own. It is just not possible to pin down a larger force permanently if a strong chess piece goes at it alone. It needs to work as a ‘tag team’ to triangulate with others and bring about the checkmate of the opponents king. Thus, the role of the social entrepreneur can be likened to that of a nimble, military general in this regard, as well as a diplomat, in terms of how the whole army moves forward to ascertain success. The scent stays low to the ground, is approachable and stays on the move.