One Th!ng seeks to accomplish three goals:
1. To inspire people to act by putting the power for change in the hands of the individual.
As I've grown older I've learned some wonderful things about the world and the living things that inhabit it. I've also had to face the consequences of the actions of humans, the actions of myself. The problems that we -- that I -- have caused to other individuals and to the planet are deep and seemingly insurmountable. Classmates from my global issues course shared these feelings of frustration with themselves and the problems, and harbored guilt for not acting to combat them. Most of them seemed to feel like world problems are simply too large for any one person to change. I questioned some acquaintances outside of class and they agreed, most of them saying that individual efforts are pointless in the grand scheme of global issues. One Th!ng desires to change this line of thinking, acting out Garrett Hardin's idea of the Tragedy of the Commons in reverse. By doing one thing one time, no matter how small, for others or for the planet, an individual creates one positive change in the world. This individual is not alone in her or his actions; others have been and are doing things as well, making each individual's one thing apart of a larger movement towards change. Also, by encouraging individuals to engage in just one thing, One Th!ng seeks to remove the guilt that daily, weekly, annual, etc. committments to action or monetary donations often cause when the committment is not kept. However, I've found it nearly impossible to stop at one since I adopted the One Th!ng mindset!
2. To provide individuals with resources to carry out their One Th!ng for causes that matter to them.
As One Th!ng develops I hope to include links to foundations and organizations arranged by cause and geographic location, as well as lists of small things each of us can do to make a big difference.
3. To facilitate the sharing of ideas among One TH!ng-ers and the global community.
Operating on the premise that groups of individuals have more things in common than not, One Th!ng's greater aim is to encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds to participate in a campaign for a common goal: global change through individual action. Visitors to the site are encouraged to post ideas, links, testimonies, photos, etc. from their experiences doing One Th!ng, voice their thoughts on and constructive critiques of One Th!ng and its participants, and to engage with individuals across the globe in the exchange of ideas.
(click here to navigate to a follow-up post on the Victory of the Commons)