As a new father, I have become passionate about making the world a better place. I am also very aware of me, and my daughter’s, privilege. This Christmas we ate well, hung out with family members, exchanged gifts, and spoke about all the things we will achieve in the coming year.
But at some point, I need to teach Evie how this is not true for everyone. That safety, love, kindness, and generosity, is not common everywhere on the planet.
I also know that helping others is a wonderful shortcut to happiness. For example, I know that being a mental health advocate actually helps me deal with my own anxiety and depression. In the same way, the 12th step of Alcoholics Anonymous is to sponsor and help another person with their addiction.
We win more easily when our motivations are pure, good, and kind.
My wife and I have spoken about shoebox appeals when Evie is old enough to understand. Or taking her older toys to charity shops.
But we do not need to wait until then. We can lead by example in advance.
For Christmas, I got a voucher from my in-laws. The message read:
“We thought this was a very good cause that would appeal to the mentor in you and help in your quest to improve the world, little by little.”
It was a voucher for Lend With Care. To redeem my voucher I go to their website and choose an entrepreneur from a developing country. I lend the value of the voucher (or deposit my own funds) and they use that money to work their way out of poverty.
I then receive loan repayments each month and then choose another entrepreneur to invest in.
I do not make a profit, 100% of the money goes to the entrepreneur (Lend With Care asks for a donation towards running costs when you make an investment).
So I did this. I helped fund a woman in Malawi, to buy some cloth to make and sell clothes. Shortly after I submitted my contribution, her loan was fully funded.
And it all seems legit. Lend With Care is an initiative of poverty-fighting charity CARE International UK, and has been featured in The Guardian and on the BBC.
I shared this concept on Facebook, and several of my friends have been supporting similar projects, but had not told anyone. I wonder why we hesitate to talk about our charity work? Do people think its bragging or wanting admiration? I am inspired by acts of kindness, and selfishly I know that kind acts boost my Oxytocin, which makes me feel good.
My contribution was not that much, but I am sure it meant a lot to the recipient. I also aim to significantly increase my loan amount over the next two years.
Because we have to help make the world a better place, don’t we?
So if you can do one thing, be kind, and talk about your charitable acts so that you can inspire others.
What’s your take on what you just read? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.
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