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The League of Awesome
Long ago, I played World of Warcraft.
Stay with me now, this piece may have a fair amount of Azeroth in it, but believe me it’s not what the piece is really about. And no, you don’t need real World of Warcraft knowledge to follow along.
I made it fairly far into the game, well, I considered it to be fairly far into the game. Most of those I was playing with couldn’t understand why I didn’t level more, or have the latest PvP gear, or had re-spec’d to a whatchamacallit. I wasn’t nearly as aggressive as all those around me, who wanted me to go with them on dungeon raids or big PvP battle arenas. I was just me. I logged on, looked at the scenery, did some crafting, made some money in the auction house, and logged off.
Somehow, even with my lack of aggression, I had leveled fairly well and had amassed a bit of a fortune in gold. Once again, according to those around me, I wasn’t leveled like I should have been, and I didn’t have much gold at all. But it felt like a lot, because I could easily remember back to starting the game with nothing.
Eventually, crafting, scenery looking, and lack of aggressive adventuring got old- and I nearly quit the game (I’ve left WoW and come back many times, actually), but shortly before my subscription ran out, I came up with an idea. I wanted to start a guild.
I had been in guilds before, and always left shortly after joining due to the expectations of the other players. They wanted me to go raid, they asked me why I didn’t play like them. My guild would be nothing like that. My guild wouldn’t care about guild rewards, or raids, or PvP, or gear, or guild bank policies. My guild would care about the one thing which seemed to be ignored by nearly everyone I encountered in-game- helping other players.
And it would be called “The League of Awesome”
And so it was. I started it entirely myself, and began hanging out in low-level areas helping people run through low-level quests, crafting items for them, and generally helping. Several of the people I assisted were so touched they joined the guild, and before long it was very healthy. At any given time, there would be League members online running people through dungeons and showing them the best way to achieve their goals. It was wonderful. A whole guild, having fun, helping people, and making new friends.
Eventually I did let my subscription go away. Months later, I was given a free week, and I logged on to see my character still in the League of Awesome (LoA), a guild which was now bigger yet still than when I left.
We had no internal structure, no real officers. We had no real goals as an organization either, simply be Awesome. It turns out the best organization within a group is none, and the best goal for a group is simply happiness.
This all happened well before I found TSU- and as I fell into TSU, I couldn’t help but to feel it was a Real Life League of Awesome. Have fun, make friends, help people.
Well, except that last bit, there.
TSU is great for having fun and making friends, but we can do better at helping others. Don’t take me wrong, I’ve seen TSU and individuals within TSU do great things for one another and do some great charity events, but there’s a lesson from my World of Warcraft days worth revisiting:
Helping someone, individually, one-on-one is often much stronger than any other form of help.
Large charity events are great, but sitting down with someone and helping them through something, even if it’s a simple problem, is akin to magic. You want to recruit new members? Go use your skills, whatever they may be, to improve someone else’s life, for free. Humanity will be better for it.
I know that everyone reading this already knows everything I’m saying here- I’ve read the stories. Soldiers help other soldiers on an individual basis all the time, with incredible results- but I have to say that’s one of the core differences I’ve noticed between TSU and the LoA- LoA members *rarely* helped each other, instead focusing mainly on helping those *outside* the organization.
So that’s the first part of my challenge for you-
Don’t just make another Soldier’s day, make another being’s day.
Go make a friend, neighbor, random person, dog, cat, or other animal, Smile. Go make another being’s life better, regardless of their status with TSU. Once again, I know many of you are already doing this, and Good on You. There is a crucial next step, though, which is the second part of the challenge:
Tell Us About It.
There’s nothing more inspiring than beings helping each other, working towards happiness for all. It’s a snowball; it encourages others to do the same.
With the LoA it was easy to see who was doing what for who, we were all connected in this tiny virtual world via a great chat interface. It was easy to say where we were, what we were doing, and easy to ask other LoA members for help if we couldn’t provide what the player we were helping really needed.
Here in TSU, we don’t have a great built-in life chat, and we don’t exist in a tiny game world. We exist in the whole of humanity, at least until someone lands on Mars (note to self: Recruit all Mars astronaut potentials). As such, we have to work harder to communicate, to tell everyone of our successes, and to ask for help from others when we need it.
Robots, fun, education, and free expression are great tools while building our Utopian Playland- but helping others, and encouraging them to do the same, is what will actually build it- and there will be nothing but fun and friends along the way.
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