Wednesday, April 07, 2010

On my birthday wish

Those who are familiar with this blog (and me in general) might be expecting a post containing a birthday list. Well, think again.

After many years of making lists yet receiving presents that aren't listed and sometimes not useful - though you don't kick a gift-horse in the mouth and I am thankful for all your thoughts and presents - I decided to scratch that idea. Plus, I have a much better idea!

As I have aged - finer, like wine and cheese, of course - I have discovered that the best gift of all is friendship. So this year, I asked for the company of my friends for 2 cool events. The first was my trapezing/birthday dinner celebration. What a blast!! It's a little nerve-wracking at first but the professionals at Trapezium made sure that we all felt comfortable and safe jumping off the tall tall platform and swinging towards the genie. (You had to be there). Some of us had to conquer our fears to do it, but it was well worth it. I'd love to go back - the next class teaches you how to be caught, circus-style! Later that night, we went for a wonderful birthday dinner at Oyster Shack, a very nice Montreal restaurant.

The second event I'd love to have my friends participate in with me is the World Partnership Walk on June 6 at Place des Vestiges at the Quays of the Old Port. Some of you might have groaned just now, but hear me out.

Every year, we spend tons of money on stuff we don't need. I'm guilty of it too. I purchase books when I could just go to the library instead. I don't really NEED that $5 Starbucks hot chocolate or that new pair of shoes, and guess what? You probably don't either. (Okay, sometimes we really DO need those things, but as a general rule, we can live comfortably without them.)

Imagine if your budgeting concern wasn't for Starbucks but for medicine. Imagine having to decide between having one meal a day or purchasing pills from the dispensary so your sick parent, sibling, or child could have a fighting chance at surviving for another day, another week, another year. These are things we don't usually concern ourselves with because it is not our reality. But for the over 2.6 billion people who live on less than $2 a day, that concern is very real. Think about it. Three out of four people on this Earth cannot afford to eat. We share the same planet, the same values, the same hopes and aspirations. Why can't we help each other out?

This year, for my birthday, I would like you to take the $20 or $40 or $100 you were going to spend on my birthday gift and donate it to the World Partnership Walk. 100% of the funds you give will go directly to international development programmes managed by Aga Khan Foundation Canada that empower local communities to help themselves through cross-cutting projects like ensuring clean water and sanitation, strengthening rural economies, and educating new generations of girls and women.

Please, for my 1/4 century birthday celebration, give me hope. Hope for a better future for our brothers and sisters around the world, hope to inspire us to keep working to eradicate poverty, and hope for humanity. It's easy to give - you can do it online right now by clicking here.

As you know, hope is a dangerous thing. Let's start a social movement by helping some of the poorest people in the world. Let us be the leaders of the change we want to see in the world, for once, and let's see how far this spark of hope can go.

Thank you :)