Witnessing good shining through.

There’s a lot to remember about 2017, but the thing I’ll remember most is all the good. Almost daily we’re witness to anything from unrest and protests to ugliness and destruction – and time after time we witness good shining through.

Whether it’s the empowerment to fight for our beliefs, or the service to a community, or the compassion for a stranger, good is constantly endless – shining through each and every black cloud we might be tempted to dwell on. This focus on the positive isn’t a matter of rose-colored glasses, it’s science! When our minds focus on something negative, like fear, our minds narrow and our options disappear. Once we’re in an argument and seeing red, we literally no longer have the capacity to think of anything constructive or helpful. Me? I like options, but maybe I’m in the minority.

We at RecognizeGood recently launched a discussion group where we invite trusted leaders in the business and nonprofit worlds together in small groups to talk about how to do more good together. We’re calling this pilot program GOODTalks, and the goal is quite simply to build understanding through honest discussion in a safe space. We talk about existing problems, but we don’t FOCUS on those problems – we focus on understanding, with the hope of leading to solutions.

Sure, we and our distinguished do-gooder friends could easily spend the time griping and complaining about how hard it is to build a great business-nonprofit relationship – no doubt, it is extremely hard! But the people in those rooms are there to lend their voices, their experiences and their expertise to others in order to build a stronger community through education.

We could look at some of the bad stuff going on and spend lots of time discussing why others didn’t do more good in 2017 – but that’s not what we’re here for. We’re here to show as many positive examples as we can, to connect as many good people as we can, and to teach as many as we can how GOOD makes us all better. That’s what I’ll focus on when I think back on 2017 – what about you?


Joel Coffman – Executive Director

Joel Coffman is the executive director at RecognizeGood. He received a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of North Texas in 2008 and has grown with RecognizeGood and its for-profit partner the TyRex Technology Family since 2013. Joel’s passionate about strengthening the Central Texas community through GOOD and his favorite part of the job is finding opportunities to connect those selfless servants he meets with each other and extend the “circle of good.”

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About RecognizeGood

RecognizeGood: THE Foundation (commonly known as simply RecognizeGood) is a local nonprofit that provides a means for individuals, businesses and other nonprofits to illuminate selfless volunteers, charitable acts and community service throughout the greater Austin area. There are several active RecognizeGood programs that work toward this mission from different angles, but the common theme is simple – the illumination of GOOD in our community.