In the world today there are problems everywhere, some in our country and some in others. We are reminded of this fact, day in, day out by both the media and by countless charitable organisations. What I believe the biggest problem is though, is the wide spread attitude that there is nothing we can do to to fix these problems.
“Let no one be discouraged by the belief there is nothing one person can do against the enormous array of the world’s ills, misery, ignorance, and violence. Few will have the greatness to bend history, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. And in the total of all those acts will be written the history of a generation.”
Robert F. Kennedy (64th US Attorney General and brother to better known John F Kennedy)
I must admit that sometimes I find myself overwhelmed by the vast number of charities and causes that are out there and seeking support, and I do find myself feeling insignificant in the face of that. One of my character flaws is that I have an urge to want to help and fix everything that I possibly can. The problem with that is that one person CAN only do so much. That is not to say that it’s pointless to try, instead it’s saying that we need to choose those causes we are most passionate about and find out how to support them.
For many years I have wanted to take part in the 40 hour famine but for one reason or another I never have, and to be honest, in recent years I had almost completely forgotten that it existed. About two weeks prior to this year’s famine, I saw an advertisement for it on facebook and decided that I wouldn’t make an excuse and I would just sign up and take part. I am glad that I did and I am extremely grateful to everyone who supported me and donated to world vision by sponsoring me.
One thing that amazed me during the famine was several people who I spoke to said that they couldn’t possibly take part because they couldn’t give up food for 40 hours. Now, I understand that some people cannot take part for medical reasons but to anyone who doesn’t fit in those categories I urge you to give it a go. It is a great way to put yourself in the shoes of people who are less fortunate and who may not have the luxury of a meal every day. If you can’t go without food though, world vision made it easier to get involved by giving you the choice of what you give up. Some people choose to forgo technology for 40 hours, some choose coffee. If you are able, why not get involved and try to help those people who aren’t so fortunate.
Coming back to my original point, do you think I made a difference? Did I fix world hunger? I know for a fact that I have not fixed world hunger by my actions alone but by choosing to forgo food for 40 hours and through the generous donations from my family and friends we may feed a family for a week. Imagine if one in ten Australians took part in the famine and the other nine donated some money to sponsor them. That would make a huge difference!
In the end, you need to make up your own mind about what you are passionate about and what you are willing to do to support that, but remember what Gandhi said and don’t wait for someone else to fix the world’s problems.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”