More Than One Needs to Know :)
Who am I? For the last four decades, I have been called Nipun Mehta. As such, science tells me I'm 99.9% empty space and 0.1% vibration in constant flux. So, technically, I am seeker of an answer to this very question.
What have I done in life? In junior high, I had a paper route. By high school age, my goal in life was to either become a tennis pro or a Himalayan Yogi. My 17th year transformed me in ways I can't describe in a sentence. After that, I got a degree from UC Berkeley in Computer Science and Philosophy. A job at Sun Microsystems in my third year of college gave me more money than I needed. So I started to give it away. As money ran out, I started to give time; and as time ran out, I gave myself. By 1999, those experiments in gifting birthed ServiceSpace -- which has now mushroomed into an ecosystem of 1.5 million members. [ personal bio ]
What was the pilgrimage about? Six months into our marriage, my wife and I embarked on an open-ended walking pilgrimage across India to "use our hands to do random acts of kindness, use our heads to profile inspiring people, and use our hearts to cultivate truth." We ate whatever food was offered and slept wherever place was offered. After 1000 kilometers, we ended up at a monastery where we mostly meditated for the next three months. That whole year radically deepened the values with which we wanted to carry ourselves.
What do I do in a typical day? I practice small acts of kindness, I build technology that amplifies patterns of positive deviance, I support like-hearted projects and people, I meditate, I email. :) In recent years, I've also given many public talks. People often wonder how I pay my bills -- and while there is no complete answer, I did once write some thoughts on surviving gift-economy.
How can we work together? Tag someone with a Smile Card, sit in silence at an Awakin Circle, sign up for DailyGood, volunteer on a ServiceSpace project, start a gift-economy endeavor, host public event with everyday heroes, or simply do an act of kindness that makes you come alive. :) In serving others, we'll find ways to stay connected.
For more, check out recent speeches and articles. Around ServiceSpace organizing principles, Tao of ServiceSpace may be a helpful read as well.
- Books ... Siddhartha, Power of Now, One Straw Revolution
- Movies ... Matrix, Gandhi, What the Bleep Do We Know, Waking Life
- Music ... Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Krishna Das, Daniel Nahmod, Nimo
- Inspirations ... Gandhi, Vivekananda, Goenka, Krishnamurti