Living and Giving

World Trust: You\’re Okay, but Everyone Else Isn\’t

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Last Thursday was one of those days which I loved.  It\’s where I was pushed to an entirely different level of awareness, allowing me to be a more sensitive person and leader.

I was having lunch with the head of the Mitchell Kapor Foundation, with Cedric, Tiffany and Carmen.*  They are such lovely people, and doing such important work. Rather than viewing themselves as simply giving out money, they see themselves as partners, advisers and encouragers to community leaders.  They are very active in helping local leaders and organizations achieve their goals in the community – an entirely new brand of leadership in the foundation realm. 

We started discussing larger reasons for what we are doing.   One of the motivating factors for me is the concept of World Trust.

The reason I bring this up is that I am not sure we can create \”World Peace.\”   How do you \”create\” World Peace?  How do you make it happen?  Do you demonstrate for peace?  I am not sure we can.

So we have to move to a longer term view.  In UniversalGiving\’s and my quest to break down barriers, we\’re trying to get people to give and volunteer of their time and themselves.  The purpose is to connect in greater understanding to someone else.  When you give of your time or your resources, you are sharing yourself and opening yourself up.  People then open to you…time is given… meals shared…joint goals of building a home or a well are reached…lives are impacted…views are changed.   Relationships start, open and begin to build…

Through relationships, people relate to the person rather than color, ethnicity, religion, race.   Stereotypes become secondary.  You care about the person and relate to them.   In this way we can work on building long-term relationships, which lead to World Trust.  Relationships and World Trust, then, can naturally lead to World Peace. But we can\’t \’create\’ or \’make\’ World Peace happen.

Beautiful, I hope.  Yet Cedric opened me up further: \”Pamela, that can happen. But someone also might say, \’Well you\’re okay, but you are the exception.\”

It shocked me. It was unfortunately true, in many cases.   We have to be aware about how much effort it takes to truly aright these perceptions, often with repeated examples and experiences until the barriers are truly, genuinely broken down.

I still hope that giving can lead to connections, to understanding, to relationships, to World Trust, to World Peace.  If it isn\’t true, I am still going to devote my life working towards it.

But Cedric brought to light a greater sensitivity.   It will help me be a better person and leader. I\’ll hopefully be more sensitive about the challenges we face in bringing about World Trust, and keep trying all the same.

*Cedric Brown (Director), Tiffany Price (Grantee Advocate), Carmen Rojas, Ph.D. (Grants Officer)