The Common Good

Blog Posts By Connie Jakab

Posted by Connie Jakab 2 years 6 weeks ago
“In order to serve our world," Bono once said, "we must betray it."I’ve always wanted to change the world. I’m inspired by stories of people who have left their fingerprints on the very face of culture. I want to be a historymaker. I want to be one who people remember as a person who revolutionized her world.As noble as this sounds, I’m afraid that up until a few years ago, this has come from a very self-serving motivation. I truly did want to love people and make a difference for their benefit, but I also wanted the credit. Visions of winning a Nobel Prize danced through my mind; dreams of becoming the “woman of the year.” I’ve thought out speeches just in case.I can’t believe I just admitted that to you. I must really like you.I had to come to a broken place in order to be ready to bring about the change I so desired to initiate. You see, transformation, no matter how small or big, is never about us. It’s not about the recognition we will receive or about the merit badge that will feed your need for approval. No, it’s the most selfless thing we will ever do. We need to be trustworthy to lead such efforts.All it takes is a heart that truly cares for others — that’s it. Once your eyes are off yourself, you become incredibly useful! What a thrill it is to add benefit to others and get no credit for it.
Posted by Connie Jakab 2 years 17 weeks ago
I have been discovering more each day how much I love Muslim people. They are beautiful, warm people, yet we are afraid of them because of misconceptions based on our stereotypes of their race.I have friends who were living in the Middle East for four years and were sharing about how amazing they find Muslim people. Through my own encounters and my friend’s experiences, here’s what muslim people have taught me.
Posted by Connie Jakab 2 years 18 weeks ago
I want to tell you the story of one brave woman who has given her life to live in the East Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago.Arloa Sutter is one of my new heroes. Let me tell you why.I met Arloa through the Redbud Writers Guild to which we both belong. Last month I had the honor of meeting her at our guild retreat. I had no idea what a culture rebel she was.Arloa didn't begin her days of serving the inner-city poor as the grandmother she is today, but as a young woman. It all began with her church staff not knowing what to do with the many people who came into the building during the week needing assistance. Instead of pushing them out the door, she created a storefront room that provided  food,l friendly conversation and a hot cup of coffee to those wishing to escape the cold. This eventually evolved into her gathering a board of directors to form Breakthrough Ministries in 1992.She didn’t know what she was doing, but she did it anyways. I love gutsy people like that.
Posted by Connie Jakab 2 years 19 weeks ago
There is a dangerous marketing strategy when it comes to food and our children. No, it’s not “sugar” or “fat” or even promotions of “low sugar” or “low fat."Most of the food-marketing ploys aimed at kids are contributing to the soaring rate of obesity.Here’s why, and here’s why it is so personal to me.I’ve told my story many times of how I struggled with being overweight as a child and teen.  The problem wasn’t “baby fa," it was the freedom I had to eat O’Henry bars and ice cream on a daily basis at my grandparents' house. How fun!! Weekly visits to Bullwinkles (does anyone else remember that place?) and McDonald’s made eating exciting!Back in the 1970’s and '80’s, marketing food to children as entertainment was only making its debut. Now, it’s a multi-billion dollar industry that’s derailing healthy lifestyle patterns for our kids right before our eyes. And we’re OK with that?
Posted by Connie Jakab 2 years 21 weeks ago
Being vulnerable isn’t easy. I think it would be easier to stand outside naked for a moment of mocking than to unveil the inner-self to others for a lifetime of judgment. However, I recently heard theTED Talk below by Brene Brown on her years of study on the subject of vulnerability.What she discovered moved me to the core. Brene states that in order for us to connect we have to allow ourselves to be SEEN. This is scary for the shy and the outspoken because we all think the same thing — “Is there something about me that if people knew they would withdraw?”.Every soul cries: “Am I worthy of connection?” We then allow the mass public to tell us the answer to that.  Please note: that unstable analysis can never end well no matter how popular one may seem. This leads us to live in shame of who we are in which Brown describes shame as “the fear of connection.”I believe I can state truthfully that we live in a world of people full of shame. We’re scared to death of each other!
Posted by Connie Jakab 2 years 21 weeks ago
I am a bubbly extrovert who struggles with an enormous amount of anxiety when meeting new people.  Sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it?This weekend, I ventured down to Chicago to meet a group of women I’ve been in relationship with via Internet for more than a year. Let’s just break that down for a minute:a group of womena group of women I’m meeting for the first time… alonea group of women who have a preconceived notion of who I am based on good pictures and thought-out witty comments I post online.