People Don’t Buy What You Do. They Buy Why You Do It.

“People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.”
~ Simon Sinek

Since 1969, a very interesting year in which I left home for college and the wide world, I have been fascinated by all the ways in which people band together to make important changes in the world. I listened to Margaret Mead, an American cultural anthropologist who was a popular speaker at the time. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

I studied political systems, philosophers, religions, and critical thinking. The prevailing questions of the time were “Who am I? What do I stand for? What am I willing to die for?” It was the late sixties after all. I wasn’t yet clear about the answers when at the ripe old age of 20, I got married, graduated from college and started a family. My earlier quest for clarity was no match for a larger “What the Heck?”

So, what does that have to do with SAHARA and why I’m here?

Decades of motherhood, my “earth mother” period, my Baptist/Unitarian/Buddhist evolution, my 35 years of grass roots organizing, volunteering, fundraising, leadership support, community development, higher education management and fundraising, a bruising and fantastic MBA, an empty nest, and a grandchild, have clarified the answers.

Of all things, I most value the capacity to love, the will to do good, the intelligence to do it well and learn from failures, and the power I can bring to the small group of thoughtful, committed people who can change the world.

SAHARA is built on a foundation created by one of those small, committed, immensely intelligent, and loving groups. It’s continued service to the community changes not just lives, but generations. It’s a magnet for people whose hearts, minds, and strength of will are focused on doing good, intelligently, and with power to inspire others to be their best selves. How could I be anywhere else?

Marilyn Neece
Executive Director, SAHARA

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