Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 514

A Hawaiian Tale:

There was a boy walking along the beach.
He was disturbed because there were hundreds of starfish washed ashore.
All of them dying slow slow deaths.
He started picking up starfish, one at a time, and throwing them back into the ocean.
A man walks along and says:
"Son, there's too many, it won't make any difference".
The boy picks up another starfish, throws it in the water and says
"well it sure made a difference to that one".

So often we read about the plight of others, of communities, of entire countries and we think "what can I do? What difference will it make?"  So we do nothing.  

Then there are those that do something. Just a little something that helps one single person, which in turn helps that person's family, which in turn may actually help their next generation.  

I am reading a book called "Half the Sky: How to Change the World" which is written by a couple of US journalists- Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn.  It's basically a book about some of the most shocking and widespread human rights violations against women.  When I told Husband I was reading it he said "but won't it make you too sad".  Yes, maybe it will.  So I waited until I was strong enough to get through it. 

The book hasn't made me sad at all.  It is written in such a matter of fact and powerful way that rather than feel sad I actually feel empowered. I actually feel as though I can do something to help. I feel that I may actually be able to throw one little starfish back into the ocean.

A few years ago my brother-in-law and I sat on the beach talking about the need to help people beyond Australian borders.  He told me how he had recently signed up to a micro-loan organisation where he gave just $25 to assist someone in a developing country set up their own business.  He was doing 2 a month.  I hadn't heard of micro loans but I told him that day how I'd always wanted to sponsor an Ethiopian girl. I had wanted to do that since I was a kid.

With the power of synchronicity, or perhaps it was the law of attraction, or maybe it was just plain old chance, a man from PLAN knocked on my door just 2 days later.  Right at the top of his pile of kids was a girl from Ethiopia.  I signed on the spot.

Fast forward four years and here I am reading this book.  I am scared for my Ethiopian girl as she comes of the age to be raped and married off to her attacker.  She is only 12.  I am anxious and wish I could do more, but I am also happy that I have been able to provide her with an education which may enable her to think beyond the shackles that bound the generation of women before her.  She may escape this fate  simply because she is more worldly and educated.

My parents, husband and I were talking about all this in the car trip back from Sydney last weekend and again the topic of micro-loans came up.  Wouldn't it be great to loan money to a woman in a developing country to help her set up her own source of income?  Fast forward three days and I open up Mia Freedman's blog to discover just that - a micro loan organisation specifically for women.  Again the power of synchronicity, or perhaps the law of attraction, or maybe just plain old chance gave me the power to throw another starfish back into the sea.  I am now sponsoring a woman in Cambodia as she  not only funds her own weaving business, but also her daughter's grocery stall.  She is a widow with 7 kids. Her name is Somreang Suy.

The First Wednesday Club has been set up by Rebecca Sparrow over at Mamamia to assist you throw starfish into the sea on the first Wednesday of every month.  

Check out Rebecca's post and have a think about it.  We may not be able to cure the world of it's ills, but even if we all just made a difference to one person, surely that's a start?

It's time to Flog Yo Blog and share the love. Thanks to Glowless @ Where's My Glow for hosting and to Brenda at Mummy Time for starting the whole thing in the first place. (I bow to you ...)


  1. Hehe. Thank you. And don't worry, I'm not quitting blogging altogether. A new bigger and better site is coming. Stay tuned.xx

  2. Just hopped over from FYBF. Hi there :O)

  3. How fabulous - I'm heading over now to make a microloan of my own.

  4. Oh I'm so happy to read this is catching on! we've been loaning through Kiva for years, and I utterly LOVE it.

  5. This is absolutely brilliant! I am about to head over there to see if there are any case studies that I can borrow to teach my group of 6's as they are currently running a business for the school of selling icy poles and running a mini canteen of foods which they cook for the school :) . I will also be setting up a micro-loan the minute I can! brilliant!

  6. KIVA is awesome isn't it?! And thanks for bowing down to the goddess, she's my bloggy hero!


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