MISSION: Good Elephant is creating a global herd of social impact leaders who change the world for the better.
In October 2009, my mother died in my arms in her apartment in her bathroom late one night after cancer had been part of her life off and on for almost half my life. Witnessing death firsthand solidified for me what it means to be alive and I have forever vowed to continue her legacy to make the world a better place. In the weeks and months leading up to her passing, so much of what doesn’t matter in life began to shed away leaving a clarity about that which does.
We live in such a fast-paced dog-eat-dog world yet many of us are waking up to a different truth: that happiness is rooted in deep human connections; that in the end, life is measured by the impact you made on people, the smiles you shared, the compassion you gave, and the empathy you felt, possibly for people you will never meet.
My resume includes respectable achievements like giving a TEDxTALK, starting projects that make a difference, being a loving father, but at the core, my greatest achievement is realizing that cultivating self-compassion and extending that out to others is the baseline foundation of it all.
If you want to read what would go in a cover letter for a job if I ever have to write one again, read on. But I’ve already covered what truly matters.
Thank you for caring. Together we can change the world.
Alok Appadurai has believed in himself to be part of changing the world for the better ever since he was young. After finishing his studies at Wesleyan University, he travelled around the world and eventually returned to New York City to become a teacher. He then started a clean energy company converting waste like garbage into electricity and fuel. Eventually he moved to Tucson, AZ where he became a father, started a movement center to empower people to explore dance and yoga, and went on to create two inspiring projects:
- Fed By Threads: the first sweatshop-free multi-brand American-made organic clothing store in the United States that’s fed over half a million meals to Americans in need.
- A Beautiful Body Project: with world-renown photographer Jade Beall who is mother of his child. This project was dedicated to reshaping body image and self-esteem in women and girls, against the powerful forces of media that profit off them feeling horrible about themselves. A Beautiful Body Project went viral around the world, was visited by millions of people in over 190 counties and 22,000 cities and towns around the world.
Alok has given a TEDxTalk talk about “Emotional Capitalism” which envisions the next phase of cause-based businesses that don’t just tack in a cause to tug on customers’ heart-strings, but instead actually commit to paying workers living wages and using sustainable materials.