Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bridging the Gap

I read the first book on my summer list! The Blue Sweater is inspiring. interesting. informative. If you are at all interested in helping the poor, not just giving handouts, but giving opportunities, you need to read this book.
Some highlights:

"You should focus on being more interested than interesting." -John Gardner
-I feel like a lot of people who travel the world, give money, and try to "help" the poor are doing so to be interesting. They probably are interested as well, but its more interesting to talk about your experiences living in Africa than your experience changing a community in Arkansas.

"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting." -Buddha
-I really love this. I've been thinking about the mantra of "having an open mind." Some may say this is dangerous. I believe it is only dangerous if you go half-way in your search for truth. I believe that an open mind, partnered with humility with bring you ultimately to truth.

"There are none more dangerous to extremists than moderates." -Jacqueline Novogratz
Take that Glenn Beck!

"Monsters do exist, but not in the way I'd imagined them." -Jacqueline Novogratz
Jacqueline had many friends in Rwanda before the genocide. They all played completely different roles. One woman who she had worked with in giving opportunity to all Rwandan women became a major perpetrator in the bloody genocide, destroying safe havens and encouraging people to kill their neighbors. When Jacqueline visited the woman in prison, she looked so childlike. Years ago she had a vision to make the world a better place, but became a monster of evil because of power and politics. I like this example because we often think about "bad guys" as somewhere out there plotting the destruction of our country in caves. We imagine that they were nasty little kids too (like the one in Toy Story.) But evil could be in our neighbors, it could be in us. We all have potential for evil, just like we all have potential for good. Its not so black and white.

"Today's world needs more than humanitarians. We need individuals who know how to listen and who have real and tangible skills to share." -Jacqueline Novogratz

"There is reason to believe that people everywhere can lift themselves up, but they have to be given the tools to do so. We can only open doors so that they can walk through them." -Jacqueline Novogratz

"Dignity is more important than wealth." -Jacqueline Novogratz

See www.acumenfund.org

No comments:

Post a Comment