Be Challenged, Blog

A New Kind of Challenge

Hello everybody! I hope you have created a successful week for yourself and have been enjoying that special feeling of victory that only comes from making strides in your goals. If this week has been crushing you, instead of the other way around, here’s to the weekend and a fresh start, eh?!

As you well know, the whole point of this site is to empower, encourage and challenge the people who read it to dream of their ideal future, know that they have the power to make it happen, and get out there and do something about it. This week is no different.

Throughout my life I have always been interested in changing the world, for one person or an entire continent. When thinking about making a difference my imagination immediately runs to raising the most money, helping the most people, saving people’s lives, not just helping them out a bit.

An all or nothing mindset is a big hurdle to get over.

I spent a year of my life on an internship having my eyes opened to the evils of the world, the things that others were suffering, the ways that society takes advantage of its weaker members, and wondering if anything I could ever do would make a difference.

Sure, I could decide to only eat Fair Trade chocolate, but companies would still be using child slave labor to harvest cacao. My reusable shopping bags are great, but millions of bags will still end up in landfills. Refusing to shop at “fast fashion” stores or buy clothing made by underpaid workers in unsafe conditions is a great start, but what about the billions of items of clothing everyone else in the world is buying?

That all or nothing mindset threatened to keep me from taking any action. After all, what would it help?

Hopefully by now, you’ve been around here enough to hear me talk about the compounding effect of tiny changes made over time. It’s the only way anything happens; in your health, your relationships, your habits, and the injustices you want to right in the world. You’ve probably heard the almost cliché story about the starfish, with millions dying on the beach and a lone man throwing them back into the ocean one by one. Someone walks by and asks why the man is making this fairly pointless attempt, saying, “You can’t possibly save enough to make a difference”. And of course, the famous response, “I made a difference to that one”.

As trite as it may sound, it resounds with truth. While you may not single handedly change the world, you have immense power to be a part of a greater movement of positive change.

In the spirit of changing the world for one person, I have to share an amazing event that I am proud to represent.

For millions of people in the developing world, accessing water, even dangerously contaminated water, is a daily challenge. In these parts of the world, the average journey to reach this water source is 6km, followed by an even more challenging 6km return trip, carrying said water. As you could imagine, walking 8 miles to have a life necessity occupies a huge amount of time, and usually this burden is carried by the women and girls of a family, while men are occupied with work and education.

World Vision, a Christian, non-profit, global aid organization works with leaders in these communities to change this water crisis. This organization is well established in these communities and has become one of the leaders in creating water solutions in these remote areas. Through their efforts hundreds of thousands of people now have constant access to clean water. Women and children have been liberated from the burden of long distance water runs, freeing themselves for the women to pursue vocational interests, parenting tasks, tend a garden, learn a new skill; and the girls to attend school with their brothers.

Here’s my favorite part. The engineers who provide this crucial community based access to water have determined the cost per person for this life-changing development. Then the folks at World Vision came up with a way for us to get involved. You know that huge, daunting, impossible global water crisis? Yeah, they came up with a tangible, manageable, personal way to contribute, and invited us to participate!

Enter: The World Vision Global 6K for Water. On May 19th thousands of people around the world will run, walk, jog or stroll every step of the journey that individuals in the developing world have to take every day to get water. The entry fee of $50 for adults and $25 for youth under 18, literally provides water for a person for at least 20 years! When you enter you will receive a race kit in the mail, with the usual race swag, a tee shirt, medal and a bib. On that bib is the photo of a child from a community where World Vision has a presence and is working to bring access to water, education and healthy food. When you get donations, think about the race, and eventually run, you will have a smiling face shining up at you. The beaming face of the little person you are walking to bring water to. If there is a more tangible way to help, I haven’t heard of it.

Do I need to get into how AMAZING it is that it’s a fitness challenge that literally changes the world?!

Races are taking place all over the world, so there should be one near you. Click here to find one! If there isn’t you are welcome to run on your own, or do like I did and sign up to become a host site!

If running or walking 3.8 miles won’t be possible for you, but you’d still like to contribute, head over to this website and click on the “Support Us” link to donate 🙂

Whether you choose to get involved in this way or not, let this be a reminder that making a change in the world is possible. There are people who are already making a difference in the way that you are passionate about. As Mr. Rogers would say, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping”. Go find someone who is making a difference and see how you can get involved!

 

 

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