January 2008 Posts

Life is Interrelated (courtesy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr)

I came across this Martin Luther King, Jr. quote from a speech he gave in 1967.  More than 40 years later, I’m amazed by its relevance – probably even more so today than when he first delivered it.  On the occasion of his birthday, thought it would be worth sharing.

It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality. Did you ever stop to think that you can’t leave for your job in the morning without being dependent on most of the world? You get up in the morning and go to the bathroom and reach over for the sponge, and that’s handed to you by a Pacific islander. You reach for a bar of soap, and that’s given to you at the hands of a Frenchman. And then you go into the kitchen to drink your coffee for the morning, and that’s poured into your cup by a South American. And maybe you want tea: that’s poured into your cup by a Chinese. Or maybe you’re desirous of having cocoa for breakfast, and that’s poured into your cup by a West African. And then you reach over for your toast, and that’s given to you at the hands of an English-speaking farmer, not to mention the baker. And before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world. This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality. We aren’t going to have peace on Earth until we recognize this basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.

Giving is Good

Saw this in a blog called Don’t Tell the Donor, but actually it’s the kind of inspiring story that donors like to hear.

It’s about Sonja Christopher, one of the contestants in season one of Survivor (way back in 2000). She had originally promised to donate her potential prize winnings of $1 million to her church to build a community hall – but since she was the first one voted off the island, ended up with “only” $2,500, which she went ahead and gave to her church anyway.

But something interesting happened – moved by her generosity, fellow congregants stepped up – and raised the million dollars needed. Ground was broken recently. The moral of the story, according to the church’s minister, is that “giving is good.”

And never underestimate the power of a “small” donation.

10 Tech Revolutionaries

Contribute has put together their list of 10 Tech Revolutionaries who are redefining the power and face of philanthropy.  The list is below, but check out the article to see how their changing the way we approach philanthropy on the Internet.

  • Sean Parker & Joe Green (Facebook Causes – pictured at right)
  • Colleen Macklin (Persuasive Media)
  • Michael Furdyk (Viral Communities)
  • Charles Best (Online Auctions)
  • Susan Tenby (Virtual Reality)
  • Ailin Graef (Virtual Reality)
  • Susan Seggerman (Video Games)
  • Ethan Zuckerman (Bridge Blogs)
  • Hans Rosling (Dynamic Data)

Yelpy New Year

Techno sounds, cramped corners, ambient light, and a trendy crowd of talkers came together two nights ago at the Yelp ’08 event at Arlington’s Eleventh Street Lounge. GlobalGivers Alison, Dana, and I made an appearance in support of the community Yelp has built here in DC. Yelpers are tastemakers and influencers who are very vocal both on and offline; they visit, rate, and review everything from restaurants, to public services, to mass media. At the event they offered a high-tech photo booth (Digital SLR + live printing), and delicious hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.

We were dazzled by the high energy of party-planner Miriam (pictured below), and wanted to say thanks to Yelp for the fun evening!

A Horse(race) of a Different Color

Election season is in full swing, with the passing of the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire Primary, and Super Tuesday right around the corner.  The 24-hour news media has been in a frenzy, reporting on every word, every event, every tear and every new poll.

The Democratic results in New Hampshire surprised a lot of people when, despite every pollster and pundit’s predictions, Hillary Clinton edged out Barack Obama for the win.

But until January 31, we’ve got our eyes on a different horserace here: America’s Giving Challenge,  These contenders are competing for $50,000 in funding towards their favorite causes.  Participants start fundraisers for the cause of their choice, and on January 31, the 4 fundraisers with the most individual donors (not money raised!) will earn $50,000 from the Case Foundation towards their project.

The leader board is changing every day, so it is still anybody’s game.  If you have a fundraiser, go Get Out the Vote.  If you have a favorite cause, find a fundraiser for it and help it win $50,000.

Check out the latest results…

(Full disclosure: GlobalGiving is working with Parade Magazine and the Case Foudation as a partner in America’s Giving Challenge.)