With all the talk recently about WE DAY, I was just thinking about these movements the other day and found some notes I jotted last year:
As a natural skeptic, I watched a profile on Free the Children last year with a veil over my eyes. Really? Was this making a difference? But against the grain of my usual attitude, I was soon transformed. Prickles of excitement stood the hair on my neck on end as I watched these young people do something impressive. That level of peer to peer engagement seems so rare. I smiled when a girl at a school in Africa proclaimed that she had only been learning English for a year and a half and her vocabulary exceeded that of some individuals I have met who were born and raised right here in Canada.
I know that there is likely another side to their story: Where humans are involved, there are always politics and controversy.
But if the end result is still something good, it’s worth suffering some controversy. Since politics are everywhere, then why not help an organization that might have an outside chance of helping kids here and abroad be more. Be Better. Be what they should be. This seems far more valuable than helping an organization that contributes nothing to the greater good except an annual donation somewhere because their PR people told them it would be good for business?
In the old days, I would have said: because of the money. Because working for the greater good doesn’t pay bupkiss. But that’s no longer true, or rather the organizations that favour capitalist fortune are paying about the same amount, these days. So for the same money, I’d rather do some good.
I do have one prevailing philosophy though: family first. if I am going to take time away from them and miss some important things, like Tuesday afternoon school pick ups, then I had better be missing those things for a good reason. That reason had better be because I was helping to make someone else’s life better.
So I applied for a job with Free the Children. Because I can’t work for free, but I don’t have to make a fortune. I received an email inviting me to a job open house. The next afternoon at 3 pm. In Toronto. I live in Peterborough. Ah… With other deadlines and appointments involving the family in the mix, I couldn’t go. I emailed this to them, requesting an alternate meeting, but I guess there were enough candidates who could go: I never heard back and further queries have since gone unopened and unanswered. I was a little disappointed but then I realized that if they were that overwhelmed with candidates, there was hope. There were others who were willing or able to work for less and do more good.
Since that time, I have found little else that grabs my interest in the way that this did. Such is life: grab those opportunities that you think might be pivotal, life changing events while you can. And know that if it doesn’t work out, there is probably a good reason.