“Failure was never nearly as important as the fact that we tried That in the war against frailty and limitation We supplied the determination it takes to make ideas and goals the parents of possibility” (Shane Koyczan – Remember How We Forgot)

Making a difference comes from action. Imperfect attempts trump perfect inaction. Social change has never come about from dreaming. It comes from daring. It comes from trying.

Trying is an attempt at attainment. It sets its sights on achievement. It appreciates that skill and knowledge is gleaned while in motion, not while at rest.

Trying is not blind. It is born from thoughtful reflection, planning and research. It stems from a problem identified and reasoning that improvement can be made to rectify the situation.

Trying does not accept the status quo as adequate. In the fight to conquer injustice; in the rally to challenge gaps in practice; in the pursuit of excellence in knowledge – trying claims the space of risk-taking, without the benefit of experience in many instances.

Trying is not reckless. It charts a pathway from the present to a desired future. It moves from over-reaching, vague platitudes to a knowledge base that is prudently anchored in the best available data and evidence. It merges this with strengths, acknowledges limitations, and sets goals that are, on the one hand, obvious, and on the other hand, stretching into the unknown just far enough so as to bend current reality.

Trying is not a fad. It is not the flavour du jour capturing attention for a fleeting moment and abandoned without full effort or evaluation.

Trying is dedicated transformation, with the full muscle and brainpower to ensure steadfast fixity of purpose in achieving the end goal. Really trying overcomes obstacles and barriers rather than coming up with excuses for inaction, resistance or failure.

Trying is the currency of true commitment. One is only a poser if they make claims to want something but only create plans; if they are ever waiting for the solution to appear from elsewhere. To be committed to making a difference means that one must try to make a difference…not just hope it will happen.

Trying is the covenant between those that have the means to make a difference and those that will most benefit from a change being made. It is our duty – nay our privilege – to have the chance to try.

About Iain De Jong

Iain is a playful nerd, hellbent on ending homelessness, increasing affordable housing, creating vibrant communities, and expanding the knowledge amongst leaders that influence social issues. Having held senior management and professional positions in government, non-profits, and the private sector, Iain has a wealth of experience and has garnered dozens of awards for his work across Canada and internationally. His work has taken him across Canada, the United States, and to Australia. In 2009, Iain joined OrgCode as its President & CEO, and in 2014 assumed full ownership of the firm. In addition to his work with OrgCode, Iain holds a part-time faculty position in the Graduate Urban Planning Programme at York University.

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