When I started the R3ciprocity Project, I got “you can’t do that”, “that is wasting your time”, “that will not work.” To this day, I still get these thoughts. Every once and a while, people will discount the Project.
When you are innovating you can’t believe other people. They don’t get it. Most won’t support you. They also don’t understand how much work it takes to build something from nothing.
But, most of the time, your biggest critic will be yourself.
Most of us are so focused on say no to things that they forget that it is okay to say yes to things once and a while.
I think it is because of current education. The way we train students is fundamentally wrong. We should not train them to answer questions, we need to train them to ask questions. Conventional education focuses on getting the right answer, but most of what we know in life is not about answering questions, but is about asking the question in the first place.
The R3ciprocity Project
My goal with the R3ciprocity Project is to ensure that not a single student, researcher, or person feels isolated, alone, or lost. I don’t know who these people are, and what their problems are. They might be someone that is born 20 years from now.
But, I do know that if I give inspiration, stories, resources, and tools on the internet, someday they might need them. They may read these posts and watch the videos to get insight about the research world, or life in general.
In the research world, the expectation is that scientists and researchers are devoid of emotion. But, I know this is simply not true. We are people.
None of us are rocks all the time, and we all can us help once and a while.
Not Everyone Has Support Outside Or Inside Academia
For me, my family helped (and also was sometimes a pain in the butt) to get me to where am I today. I am reflecting on how important my family, especially my mom was to me becoming who I am.
My parents had 6 kids. My parents never got a chance to complete high school. I was the youngest, but first to go to university. The nearest city was 4 hours away. I drove for 24 hours to get my university. It was hard and scary.
My mom taught us to care for others, to build stability, and to be authentic. It does not matter where you come from, or who you are, but it matters that you treat people with kindness, dignity and respect.
At university, I studied my butt off. I felt alone studying because it meant so much to me. But, I could always rely on my parents, in-laws, wife, and kiddos to be there for me.
That is just it. Not everyone has this support. Research makes you feel lost. Everyday you will feel like you don’t have enough time, your not good enough, or you can’t get there.
People may feel lost, but they simply just need to know they are just beginning in the process. We need to encourage more support for those that do not have it. Or, feel like they do not have it.
A Simple & Silly Venture Is Born
I began thinking about “Can we democratize science and encourage diversity in science with just silly little videos, notes, and tools?” I first build the r3ciprocity.com platform, but over time, I realized what people needed was far bigger than just tools.
Simple Rules For Kindness
People needed some simple rules for kindness for others, and themselves. People needed to be reminded that they are good people.
Accept who they are. Those weaknesses are actually your strengths.
Be kind to yourself. Set boundaries.
We needed to be reminded that we are all struggling with our own problems. Once we realize that’s those struggles are actually your strengths, you become a totally different person.
Let’s Change Research, Science, & Higher Education.
The R3ciprocity Project is a crazing idea, but I like crazy ideas. Instead of answering those questions that we keep repeating, let’s ask why does it have to be that way? Can we make research, science, and higher education a more positive and supportive place to be?
Can we create a world in which people feel better for doing science, rather than worst?
If I can be the person that can get you to believe in yourself or give you tools to do better science, I will try.
Help me create the world’s largest and helpful platform for those that are interested in research. I am just scratching the surface, and I could really use your help (spread the word or buy some credits on r3ciprocity.com if you want).
That’s just it. You have to do things that are hard and scary. You are going to discount yourself. Others are not going to ever get it.
Others might think this is a stupid and crazy idea, but what do we have to lose?
Don’t ever back down from the challenge.