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:
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 took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else's eyes."