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:
"If it falls to your lot to be a dishwasher, wash like Michaelangelo painted pictures, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, like Beethoven composed music... wash so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, 'There lived a great dishwasher who did his job well.'"
   --Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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