Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

1/7/2008

Be the Change

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Deep Thoughts,Life Goals,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:38 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

I’m trying to make my life congruent with my beliefs.

It’s not always easy for me to live morally and ethically. Not that I have such high standards, mind, but, well, sometimes I can be a real bastard.
Back just shortly after starting my first job, I started donating money to the Untied Way via my paycheck at work. At the time, they were running a contest to get more people to give and I won it. That wasn’t my intention when I started giving, but I still enjoyed the vacation I won. A college buddy and I used that vacation to go to Los Angeles and, thanks to my free room nights I got as a benefit of working for Hyatt Hotels, stayed for a week and did a bunch of sight-seeing. One of the places we went was the Hard Rock Cafe, LA. We went because I saw a camera man wearing a letterman-style jacket from there and I just had to own one. My buddy thought it was hilarious that the motto on the front was “Love All, Serve All” because I’d gotten a degree in Marketing and was a well know bastard in college. The idea that I might server anyone, without getting compensated for it, apparently amused him quite a bit.

Well, I’ve grown into that jacket a bit in recent years. Especially since the divorce and surviving cancer. The older I get, the more I find myself wanting to give back a little more to the world at large.
So, when I came into a little money near the end of last year, I decided to give a little more than a third of that to various charitable causes. First, there was someone at church who was in a tight spot due to a nasty divorce. When there was a collection for her, I contributed what for me was a healthy amount. Then, too, I wrote a decent check to my church directly. Those folks really supported me when I was diagnosed with cancer and I was eager to give a little back.
I also donated some money to WordPress, which may be an odd “charity” considering how well they’re doing. But, that was about putting my money where my mouth is. I love WordPress. I used to use other software to blog with, and every once in a while someone suggests others to try, but WordPress has a philosophy that I can really stand behind. That group of folks makes damn good software, and gives it away. That deserves my support, so I gave it.

Finally, in an effort to act globally, I gave some money to Kiva.org. They do micro-loans to small businesses in third-world countries. The loans may not seem like much by American standards, but they can make the difference between prosperity and despair in a small village somewhere.
You can see who I loaned to, and how their business is doing, here:
http://www.kiva.org/lender/james5285
It’s a small thing, to me, but I hope it will make all the difference in the world to them.

So, in short, I’m trying to live up to the arguments I used to make in college about how society should work.  I’m trying to live my beliefs for a change.
I’m doing my best to be the change I want to see in the world.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"It is not the going out of port, but the coming in that determines the success of a voyage."
   --Henry Ward Beecher

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