Not selfie. Selfless.


Have you ever taken a selfie?

You’re not alone. Each day, millions of self-shot photographs are snapped and shared on social networks by users around the world, with celebrity after celebrity getting in on the action. 35 million posts using the #selfie hashtag have now been made on Instagram, generating hundreds of millions of likes each and every day.

Oxford Dictionary has made it official. ‘Selfie’ is now a real word. It has its own title, and I am not sure that I am happy about the concept.

It screams ‘look at me’, it’s self absorbed and is being used as the constant one up. To me, it represents selfishness and narcissism. It saddens me to see young people needing constant validation from their peers. It remains to be seen whether this trend is here to stay.

I sincerely hope that as a Mother, I can lead my children to portray a more sensible and self confident self image. Not constant attempts to connect, be liked, be seen.

What we can do in the now, in the today, is provide a positive role model so our children experience a less self absorbed display, something other than the ‘selfie’ sharing of this accepted pillar of our digital identities.

How? Being selfless. Show your children that there is power in self sacrifice.

So, what does selfless mean?

Selfless (adjective) – concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own; unselfish. “an act of selfless devotion”. Unselfish, altruistic, self-sacrificing, self-denying; considerate, compassionate, kind, decent, noble, public-spirited; generous, magnanimous, ungrudging, unstinting, charitable, benevolent, liberal, open-handed, philanthropic.

I come across ‘selfless’ probably more often than most, in my work as National Chief Executive of a not-for-profit organisation called Kids in Philanthropy.

On a daily basis I am inspired by people, predominantly women, who devote themselves to causes, those less fortunate, people without a strong enough voice or the confidence to stand up and attempt to make a real difference. These people, in a grass roots, unsexy, non-celebrity sort of way give out and expect nothing in return.

These people take many forms. They inspire me daily. They are Mums, with no help from working husbands, attending to their children and their home with no life of their own. They are community workers who work tirelessly to create opportunity for people within disadvantaged communities who endure unemployment, homelessness, drugs, crime and food insecurity, daily and they are also CEO’s saying yes, far too often, in an attempt to remain relevant, jeopardising their family and their own down time to ‘walk the walk’.

There are many of these stories that I would like to showcase. Many stories (mainly about women) that I would like to tell… inspiring stories of women in Sydney, doing selfless, inspirational things. It is not to make YOU feel any less of a person, but to illustrate that selflessness takes all forms and I am sure you resonate with the theme of our stories.

I look forward to taking you on a journey of success and altruism. Watch this space, over the next few weeks as we hear from prominent guest speakers discussing, in a raw and candid way, how they have achieved success through navigating their work, community and personal lives.


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