Sometimes I get asked about the steps someone should take in launching an effort to bring relief and hope to the world. As though there’s a special formula for investing your time and resources to make a difference. I’ve seen all kinds of campaigns come and go – but here are five simple keys I put on my Twitter account last week that seem to be universal when we talk about bringing hope.
Do you have others? I’d appreciate hearing them in the comment section.
KEYS TO BRINGING HOPE:
1. Stop arguing over petty things. What was your last argument about?Self-focused or others-focused.
2. Put away selfish ambition.
3. Ask how you can help rather than forcing your plans.
4. Listen and learn. Investigate history,seek counsel,take the best and humbly run with it.
5. Courage not to look the other way.Let the troubles of the world move you.You are the someone.Today is the day.
Even as a little kid, the writing and speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. resonated with me. His talk about love and hate. Peaceful revolution. The longing for the dream of equality to be lived out in reality. His bent toward justice. I would have loved to have met him, asked him questions, probed how this ordinary young man found the courage to say “yes” to putting himself in harms way and speak up at a time when he must have known it could cost him his life.
If you look at some of @shaunking ‘s Twitter posts from this morning you’ll see just how ordinary Dr. King was. We tend to magnify him into some unreal, unreachable model of a man. Sometimes I think we do that to people to keep us from taking our own place in history. If they are these huge icons then we get a pass. If they are like us, we have a new standard.
My hope is that we would see ourselves stepping into the legacy of Dr. King and many others throughout history who said “yes” to opportunities in front of them to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with their God. It is easy to look at the problems in the world and see how big they are and to feel inadequate; to feel overwhelmed. Or to be angry and wonder why someone isn’t doing something! Or to think if I am able to do something to relieve suffering and bring justice it will be someday. I want to encourage you, YOU are the someone and TODAY is the day!
“Strength to Love” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I Have A Dream – Writings and Speeches” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.” From Strength to Love
“Hate is rooted in fear. The only cure for fear-hate is love.” From Strength to Love
“Man, by his own power can never cast evil from the world.” From Strength to Love
Definition of critical mass: a size, number, or amount large enough to produce a particular result. (Merriam-Webster Dictonary)
Let me ask you a question: if 27 million people across the world simultaneously contracted Cholera, wouldn’t that be on the front page? If there was an epidemic that effected this many people and we had the cure,what would we do about it? There are an estimated 27 million people in slavery around the world today. 50 Percent of those, are children. From a criminal standpoint, this is a brilliant endeavor. A resource that you can continue to use over and over again.The trade of human beings is the second most lucrative crime on the face of the earth: 32 billion dollars. That’s more than the worth of Google, Starbucks, and Nike combined.
Which is why it’s beyond all reason that anyone could still say that they, “had no idea” about slavery. With all the movies that are out on this topic and all the news stories, and all the blogs and T-shirts and kitsch — how can we help but know about the atrocity that is the trade in humans? We need to reach critical mass on this issue. In the words of William Wilberforce,
“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.”
Get informed. Work your network. Use your voice. Exploit your influence. Until everyone knows.
1. Post to your Facebook page, Tweet about it, write a blog, text your friends. Help reach critical mass.
2. Sponsor a child with Compassion International – when a child is rescued from poverty they are much less likely to be exploited. http://www.compassion.com
3. Join the Facebook page for Loose Change to Loosen Chains. This year we’ll be focusing on prevention and demand. We need your help. http://www.causes.com/causes/4502-loose-change-to-loosen-chains