We don’t need the news to let us know that the world is a crazy place. Turmoil, intolerance, and a lack of basic needs and rights can be seen in almost every city, state, and country. Instead of being paralyzed by all the pain and hurt, we can focus on one small thing – one place, one issue, or even one person – to start a chain of betters to make the world a better place.
As part of my 25 before 25 bucket list, I wanted to donate $250 to a cause that did not affect me. A few months went by and I didn’t really think about the goal, but one Sunday at Hillsong I was moved to sponsor a child through Compassion International. Compassion International helps children in poverty around the world by providing them with basic health, education, life skills, and spiritual guidance. After quickly praying on it, I raised my hand and was handed a packet containing the name, age, and a photo of my sponsored child. Meet Samuel from Uganda.
Even though Samuel is 8 years old, he can’t read or write yet, so our letters are mostly scribbled drawings, with some text by a translator detailing random things: what he ate today, which of his siblings he played with; his soccer game. Things that I love to read about, because quite frankly, it helps put my life WAY into perspective.
What Samuel doesn’t talk about is more meaningful. He has sickle cell disease, which affects millions of people around the world, many of them of African descent. Both of my brothers have the sickle cell trait, and one of my cousins has the disease, so I grew up learning about sickle cell before it came up in any of my public health classes. It can be an excruciatingly painful disease if not properly managed, and I can only imagine the number of days that Samuel has missed school and play due to his illness.
Even though I’m being “selfless” in contributing $45 each month to Samuel and his family – I put this in quotes because I think altruism is selfish in some ways, but I’ll leave that for another post – I have actually set off a chain of betters which helps not only Samuel, his family, and his community, but also helps me and the people around me grow.
That’s why I was excited to hear about Western Union’s Chain of Betters project, which encourages people to move money around the world to create a chain of good deeds that actually makes lives better. You can send money to a child in need, to a person who has experienced a natural disaster, to a merchant handcrafting goods, or even to a close or distant family member. While the recipient changes, the opportunity for you to create a chain of acts of kindness that improve the world does not. This video underscores just a few key ways that gifts of kindness can translate into impactful changes in people’s life.
As you go into the holiday season, amidst the bustle of food preparation and gift buying, take a moment and reflect on how you can do your part to make the world a better place by starting a chain of betters.
What is one thing you can do to start a chain of betters?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.