The world, our world, is very sick and hungry- Hunger for love, peace, employment, attention, care, recognition, respect, happiness, gender equality, etc. Amongst all these lurks a dire need for self-survival which is the driver of the ongoing chaos and clamour for sectional, religious and political uprisings with the resultant effect of societal stratification….the upper, middle and lower classes. The world has become a place for the survival of the fittest where the smartest, strongest and cleverest meander their way through different means to move up the classes. The driver of all the agitation in the world today is because people are too busy trying to satisfy self and move through or become “lords” in their classes that they are not aware of the damage they’re doing to the world. We are talking about ozone depletion today, youth unrest and upheavals, religious crises, war, kidnapping, armed robbery, and several other social vices that all have their roots to the fact that somebody or group of people or a Government was too busy with self (or group) aggrandizement, that they forgot that their actions could affect other lives and boomerang on them and many innocent people suffer in the process.
The problem is there already. We created it. We worry and complain bitterly about everything yet we created those problems. We worry about our children not been as respectful as kids used to be “back-in-the-days”, we worry about loss of norms and values, we complain about the negative effects of globalization with its encroachment into our quiet and peaceful cultures, we even worry that people don’t drive as well as they used to, we worry about the weather-that the ozone layer is getting depleted, we worry that our, students don’t really study anymore-that they come out from schools “half-baked”, We worry that the jobs are not there anymore and unemployment is on the rise, we complain about the streets not being safe anymore, we worry about the rising cost of the grocery, we worry and complain about this and about that…we created all these problems. We have to solve them now. There is need for action on your part. Being in any of the classes as mentioned above does not remove you from at least one of the problems. When was the last time you ‘donated’ your time from your busy quest for self-survival (which includes all human and material interests) to ponder on solutions to a hungry world? When was the last time you gave out a helping hand to someone? When was the last time you put a smile on the face of one who is not related to you? When was the last time you attended a meeting organized by your community for the progress of the community? Even in your local place of worship, what assistance have you rendered to the very poor and enterprising people who need assistance? You can start something today. Do something good. Choose any area of human endeavor. Give it a try. Call out for help. Look for like minds to partner with you.
Maybe I need to spur you to action by giving you examples of a few ordinary people from the book “Entrepreneurs by Bill Bolton and John Thompson” who did extraordinary things and changed the world we live in for the better.
Elliot Tepper: is an American missionary who lives in Spain. He has an MBA but has chosen to channel his not inconsiderate energies into helping alcoholics and drug addicts. He started Betel, a not-for-profit Christian rehabilitation centre, in the early 1990s. At anytime Betel now houses over 500 young addicts, both men and women, in homes in ten Spanish cities, in Birmingham in the UK and in Brooklyn, New York. Half of the People on Betel’s programme are HIV-Positive. 5000 people passed through in the first seven years.
Margareth Handforth: A miner’s wife, ex-secretary and mother of three sons, had demonstrated her talent by founding a local playgroup but had never thought of herself as an entrepreneur before the 1984 Miners’ strike. Forming a small group, she set up a soup kitchen to help people survive the traumas of the time. Invited to speak to students at local universities in exchange for collection, the women set foot on university campuses for the first time in their lives. They began to realize that education can broaden horizons and Margaret Handforth had a vision of a better life through self-improvement. She had no idea how to do it, just a determination to start something off. Today, her project, the Castleford Community Learning Centre in West Yorkshire known locally as the University of Life, is a women centre that offers a wide raft of courses up to degree level, and validated by local colleges and Universities, usually at low or no cost to women in this economically deprived area. It has succeeded in changing lives and empowering many more women of our world.
David Bissau: A business entrepreneur who invests on the poor. David, who became a millionaire before the age of 35 from a series of business interests then focused his talents on helping poor people around the world. Many Millionaires do give generously and set up foundations to help create social, and sometimes aesthetic capital –but Bissau set out to help people help themselves. In this respect he has similar ethos to Charlotte Da Vita. Some 50, 000 small entrepreneurs had been provided with the limited financial support they needed to either get started or grow their businesses.
The stories abound of people who have changed our society from efforts at building a better world by social innovation, entrepreneurship and community development efforts. When Mark Zuckerberg co-founded Facebook with his friends a few years ago, he didn’t know that it will change the way people connect and share information. It is amazing what you can achieve and how many lives you can touch if you could just take that single step towards the vision for a better a better world that you have. Make a commitment to reducing unemployment in your area, for instance. Start a workgroup on entrepreneurship training and sharing of ideas. Start the Jobocracy concept if you can, for involved participation and extended ownership. Organize to feed some very hungry people and you’d be surprised at the amazing ideas people have. Start something positive today….it might just outlive you and become a part of our lives forever.