Oprah’s Big Give

Posted on: March 20, 2008 Posted by: Kaia Smith Comments: 0

Oprah’s Big Give

I promise…this is all related somehow in my head. Anyways, I was thinking about Oprah’s Big Give….as its all the rage here in the states. It is striking to me how often we think that others are the people who need “giving”, when we need it so much here at home, in each and every one of our own lives.

So for my big give (listening Oprah???) here’s a suggestion:

Lets take as many people as we can to developing countries to learn about the impacts that their choices in the developed world have on others.

Once you have seen a garment factory in Cambodia, spoken with the women there who make fifty cents a day and send half of it home to feed their families, you will be more conscious of what you buy in the US and the companies you puchase from. After seeing the e-waste fuming in garbage dumps in third world countries you will be more likely to think of recycling your laptop. Once you have had to burn your own trash and smell the plastic fumes you will be more conscious of taking your own bags to the grocery store. Once you have made a friend in a 5 year old child who doesn’t speak your language, or share the color of your skin you will be less likely to judge others in your own country who do not share your background. Once you have seen arsenic poisoning on the hands and feet of villagers in a NGO supported area, you will be less likely to donate your money to organizations that build wells without testing the water beneath them. Once you have spoken with witnesses to genocide, war or poverty you will be more likely to value what you have and appreciate the humanity in all of us.

Experience is the best education, and a global education is invaluable. If we could spread the kind of awareness and responsibility that I have felt over the past 9 months in Cambodia, I am positive that we would improve both our own lives and our world dramatically. I am so proud of PEPY’s impact in our development projects…water filters, education for children here, etc etc. But I am especially proud when I hear someone like Veronique from recent February trip tell me that her choices and lifestyle will be changed because of what she has seen in Cambodia. Inevitably, those changes are going to have ripples across the world.

Anyone with me? Can we get that message to Oprah somehow?