Wednesday, April 25, 2007

SAVE Darfur

We've seen it all over the web, magazines and television: the region of Darfur in Sudan is in trouble. Why?
1. The Arab government of Sudan is performing ethnic cleansing on the region of Darfur where black Africans have resided for years.

2. More than 90% of the villages have been burned down.

3. Women are being raped and children are being thrown alive into fires.

4. The people of Darfur have no defense because their own government is attacking them.

5. More than 2.5 million people from Darfur have been displaced because there is no where to call home and they are forced to run from the Sudanese government.

6. The crisis has spilled over into neighboring countries The Central African Republic and Chad.

7. More than 200,000 people have been killed in the last 4 years.

Please find out how you can help. Check out or or to learn more and then please inform your families and friends.

Also learn how the 2008 Olympics in China help to support the Sudanese government's attack on Darfur: Summer Olympics or Genocide Olympics?

Being good is commendable, but only when it is combined with doing good is it useful.
Author Unknown

Friday, April 6, 2007

Almost doesn't count

Have you seen those TV commercials that play on your emotions by telling you: "Don't Almost Give"? Talk about a guilt trip, huh? Well, whether you're guilted into giving to a worthy cause or not, you should still move to action.
I just checked out the website that corresponds to these PSAs. It provides you with a relatively comprehensive list of causes you can support. Check it out when you get a chance:
On another note, if you know of a charitable organization, even if it's the grassroots stage, I'd love to know about it.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Paying it Forward

Living in a city presents a lot of strange encounters with people. Because I'm from a small island where everything seems "normal," I can't help walking around my current home thinking, "People do the darndest things!" Take for example, an old man who gave me a dollar for offering to help him cross the street (I promise you I refused the dollar until he got upset and shoved it into my palm!). Or, consider the gentleman from an eastern European grocery store who crossed the street to hand me an orange while I waited at the bus stop. Because I didn't want to offend, I eventually conceded and accepted each of their offers, but I couldn't help feeling like I didn't deserve the dollar or the orange. While their gestures were sweet and kind-hearted, I didn't need either of their gifts. So, I ended up giving both gifts to homeless persons who needed them more than I did. I figured, "Why not pay it forward?"

So today I challenge you to pay it forward to someone else who needs it more than you do:
We all receive gifts and random acts of kindness that we don't deserve. Whether it's an unclaimed dollar we find on the floor of the bus or if it's an extra muffin from the bakery you visit every morning, try to find someone who would benefit from it more than you would.

"Bread for myself is a material question. Bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one. "
Nicholas Berdyaev

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I'm baaack

It's been a long time since I last posted - almost a whole month. But that doesn't mean that I've stopped thinking and being. Not in the least. I've been so busy professionally, but somehow, even without looking, opportunities to serve creep into my life. For example, I bought a very friendly homeless man a BK meal, I smiled at everyone that looked like they could use one, and I've thought up of some great new ideas on how I can do my part to change the world one day at a time. I'll share them with you as time goes by.

I had planned to post daily but it's just not feasible right now. But please be assured that I won't let almost a whole month go by before I post again. Forgive me please.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Love the earth and sun and animals,
Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
Stand up for the stupid and crazy,
Devote your income and labor to others...
And your very flesh shall be a great poem.
~Walt Whitman

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Power of One

I subscribe to word-of-the-day emails and it's always exciting to see what pops up in my inbox. Today's word is quixotic and I thought it only appropriate to share it with you. Quixotic is defined as "extravagantly chivalrous or foolishly idealistic; visionary, impractical" or " caught up in the romance of noble deeds and the pursuit of unreachable goals; idealistic without regard to practicality; capricious; impulsive." What I love about this word is that it could easily be used to describe persons like you and me who may be accused of having quixotic dreams to save the world - persons who envision a better world where we operate selflessly, where chivalry is not dead, where we prefer to think idealistically as we attempt to see the good before the bad in others. However, I would hope that we are not impractical; but, that we search for pragmatic ways to deal with the urgent social issues that surround us.

Today's challenge:
Find a local social issue that interests you and research what your local government is doing to help that cause. How can you get involved? Would it require drafting a letter or a petition, or rallying around a few friends and family members to raise money for the cause on a few weekends, or how about offering your valuable input at a town meeting. If you're not comfortable making these moves right away, at least take stock of what is and is not being done and why. And remember this quotation:

"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. " Edward Everett Hale

Sunday, February 18, 2007


The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

This weekend, as I was walking around downtown, a homeless man stepped in front of me, looked me in the eye and asked me for a quarter. Jarred by being so close to a man that I didn't know and someone who seemed to be a little mentally unstable, I averted my eyes, stepped around him and said, "sorry, I don't have it" and scurried away. Now, before, you start to call me a hypocrite, I'd like to say this. I honestly had absolutely no cash on me (only my debit card) and I acted purely on instinct. But, I felt terrible afterward; I really wished I could have turned back around to toss him the quarter or dollar I didn't have. But even the thought of just tossing it to him, rather than handing it to him and looking him the eyes, increased my guilt because it implied that he was subhuman. After all, it was the middle of the afternoon and there were many people around; if did he try to harm me I would have had someone to save me. However, I also had to wonder: would giving him money support a bad habit he may have or was he just hungry? Who was I to judge or to speculate!

But, I came across the quote for today and I had to share it and my experience with you. I think both highlight the fact that it's difficult to do good. We have to make a conscious choice to do it and when we're put into a precarious position like I was when we must decide to do good or not in a split second, we opt for the latter out of instinct. Does this mean that we are instinctively self-centered? Instinctively judgmental? Instinctively unhelpful? Please let me know what you think?

In the meantime consider today's challenge:
If faced with a similar predicament such as mine and you have to make a decision quickly, please opt to do good...and let me know how it went. Peace and good luck.