A motto is a short expression of an important guiding principle.

We forget sometimes that Americans are descended from revolutionaries and rebels—people who dared to dissent from British rule. This nation was born when a small band of patriots got mad enough to sign the Declaration of Independence. Getting mad in a constructive way is an American tradition that is good for our souls, good for everyone.

It was Ben Franklin who chose the motto on our dollar bill—Annuit Coeptis—which basically means that God favors bold enterprises.

“E Pluribus Unum” is another famous motto. It appears on our national seal, and it means “one from many.” It’s a guiding principle not only for our democracy, but for thousands of large and small non-profit organizations that derive their power from individuals banding together for a common cause.

Put it all together and you have a good description of community service: Small groups of caring citizens boldly upsetting our apple cart with new ways to improve the world around us.

What’s the guiding principle or motto for your movement?

If you don’t have one yet, right one today! Here’s some inspiration to get you started:

Imagine life without breast cancer. -Susan G. Omen

The greatest tragedy is indifference. -Red Cross

Every individual has a role to play. – Jane Goodall Institute

Take down the tiger trade. – Humane Gifts

Do good in the hood. -Do good in the hood

Converse the Earth’s living heritage. -Conversation International

Church with its sleeves rolled up. -Auckland Community Churches

Think globally, eat locally. -Harvest International

Cancer doesn’t sleep and neither do we. -Relay for life

Speak up for the sharks. -Ocean Conservancy

Saving backyard animal habitats. -Ernie Mclaney’s One Man Blog

Share the power of a wish with a child. -Make-a-Wish Foundation

Accelerate practical and profitable solutions to global warming. – Climate Solutions

Life in all its fullness for every child. – World Vision

Something can be done about it. – Boston Volunteer Mission

Go ahead and make my day. – Seniors Serving Seniors

What’s your motto?

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