How My Tears Spurred My Activism

In despair, I cried to Matt — how come I know so many people who don’t give a shit?

  1. If you’ve already donated your time resources and network, Thank You. Could you consider re-sharing this post (and most importantly, the GoFundMe link at the end of this post) to spread the word? It will take you 15 seconds, and the impact will be bigger than your single contribution. If every person is one node in this massive global humanity network, think about if just 10% of your friends donated $50. I roughly know 1000 people I could comfortably ask for money from to support a worthwhile cause. Do the math. If my 10% of Givers and Helpers, each gave $50, we’d be at $5000. This is why I think we should easily get to $50k. It only takes 10 of you, to do this. By the way, the average donation thus far is $100/person. Each node in the network is a massive contribution.
  2. If you’re overwhelmed by it all and need a break, great (I get it) but suck it up and donate, and then turn it all off to protect your mental health. And before you do share it with 20 friends. Pretty please!
  3. If you don’t have much money to give, know that it’s not at all about the amount. It’s about the solidarity. Do what you can. Again, share broadly. That’s probably the most important thing you could do.
  4. If you don’t believe in aid on a singular vs systemic basis (ie donating to the Polish or Ukrainian Red Cross), let me assure you that I understand. As someone who worked in international health and development for nearly ten years, I used to be the preacher leading the choir in not singing the praises of individual giving. And let me also share a story with you. In 2008, I was living in Bugolobi Uganda, with my then boss @MaggieTidwell. Over leisurely laps in a small pool at her condo (life was simple for me back then), I was sort of distraught and sharing with Maggie how I was being chased by kids and adults when we I walked down the street with their shouts of “mzungu mzungu!” (white person, white person) trailing me. Everyone wanted a piece of me. Or, they wanted a piece of my money, rather. It was exhausting and I remember being so agitated because it felt like giving on a person by person basis was ineffective aid and contrary to development. Maggie put it so simply — think about the best that happens and the worst that happens. Worst thing is you give them your Ugandan Shillings and they blow it on beer, prostitutes and meaningless tchotchkes for their kids. Best that that happens is you absolutely change someone’s life. So given the red or blue pill (Matrix reference) which one would you choose?

And my response is always — what if they deserve that beer? What if that houseless person got to sleep in warmth and comfort for one night? Shouldn’t that be enough?

It takes every and all restraint I have not to try to acquiesce to my own abhorrent will and complete lunacy to want to save the world.

Point here is — Don’t be a Bystander. Be an Actor.

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