I was at a blues concert recently. The show was sold out. The crowd was captivated. Every aspect of the show was on point, from the lighting to the music to the singers’ stage presence.
When I was walking home, pondering the show, I began thinking about how many people were in that audience, silent, enthralled, and focused on one man’s voice. This singer had the attention of hundreds of individuals, but he never used his voice for anything other than music. In my opinion he missed an opportunity. He had a platform, he had attention, but he didn't speak of change, of doing good, of something anything that could make the world a better place to live in.
I think if you have a platform, I think you have a responsibility to use it for good. Your platform doesn’t have to be a stage or a soapbox. You don’t have scream or shout or preach, but if you have the ability, take advantage of your position.
There are many companies that are doing this today. TOMS, a shoe company, famously has a mission to give one pair of shoes to a child in need, for every pair purchased. Glassybaby, a company that makes colorful votives, donates 10% of their profits to charity. Through this simple act, they have donated $2,000,000 to charities dedicated to healing. It may seem like a disconnect for a successful glass company to be focused on charity, but I think it’s an excellent example of a company that is using their platform for good.
Think about your platform, no matter how big or small, and how you can use it for good. Think about how you can use it for change. If you have a platform, I believe you have a responsibility.