You are an extra in someone else’s movie
Sure, you are the main character in yours but for the majority of the world, you don’t even have a name or a plot line. Maybe you are ‘guy/girl who walks across the screen’, but that’s about it.
It’s important to keep that in mind because it can be so easy to get caught up in our own narrative and think that my story or experience is the only one that matters, and everyone else is playing a supporting role for my benefit. Which is a dangerous place to operate from because getting so wrapped up in ‘me’ and ‘my world’ pushes everyone else and their needs the periphery.
“Why should that matter?” I hear you ask…well, it’s simple. If everyone in the world was all about ‘want’ and ‘take’, we would consume everyone and everything in our paths. But people have value, and how we treat those around us creates the culture for the world we live in. Also, selfishness is not good for us. That goes for individuals, teams, companies, countries and the world.
What is good for us is generosity. Giving to other people, be that time, energy, love, money – whatever you have to offer, will benefit them but also you. Giving is good for you.
So, you are an extra in someone else’s movie. You are not the centre of the universe. It might sound depressing but the good news is that you can be the best extra in someone else’s movie today. Just by being kind, friendly and smiling at someone else, you can create an amazing scene which will impact how the rest of their story plays out.
“When you give to charities, what outcome are you looking to achieve?”
This is the most common question I get to ask people who support Opportunity. It’s important to find out what motivates them to give, mostly so that we can achieve the kind if impact they are looking for.
Often, the answer I get is “I want to make a positive difference”, and after further discussion they tell me about how someone helped them early in their life. So, they give to pass it on and help someone work their way out of poverty.
For many Opportunity supporters they see creating businesses as a great way to help people help themselves. A small loan gets given to kick start their journey out of poverty, by creating a small business which provides them an income. They can then put food on the table, send their kids to school, pay the loan back and leave poverty behind.
The types of business the small loans create in places like India and Indonesia are not what you normally think of. There are no ABN’s, no offices, no IT set up, no convoluted distribution channels. It’s more simple than that. You buy items at one price, take it to a market or the side of the road and sell it for a little bit more. You get a loan in the morning and can create an income to buy food that evening.
Whilst it takes time for loan recipients to fully leave poverty behind, a small loan is the injection they need to start that journey.
That’s what making a positive difference looks like.
$160 is enough to help create a small loan – donate here.
I’ve seen my fair share of generous acts. The one’s that stand out most are those that are initiated out of trying circumstances. There is something special about witnessing an act of strength out of a place of weakness. That’s what I would consider a generous act to be – one of strength.
I spoke to a supporter recently, just to check in and see how he was going in the current climate, hoping that he and his family were safe and healthy, which they were.
During the conversation, his concern turned to the people that Opportunity works with. Those living in poverty in India and Indonesia and how this global pandemic is affecting them, and what it could look like in the next few months. The truth is, we really haven’t seen anything close to what the impact the Coronavirus will have on developing countries, and these two specifically. My sense is that it will get a great deal worse before we see any light at the end of the tunnel which will have drastic implications on millions of people.
This supporter shared my concerns and agreed with this dire possibility. He said, ‘I like what Opportunity does and how you go about it. I will give again this year, and I will give more than I have before’.
I was blown away. We are still living with a great deal of uncertainty in Australia. No one really knows when things will turn around economically for us, but here was someone who was committing to an act of strength when surrounded by weakness. This type of generosity is so powerful that it impacts everyone it touches. I was inspired, and I know that what he will give will also inspire those living in poverty who will be on the receiving end.