There are certain places you expect to find inspiration, of course. In a good book, for example, or at a convocation address. For some, it might be watching a particularly pretty sunset that inspires you.
Sometimes, inspiration comes from within, too, but it often needs a spark. Recently, I have been finding these sparks in unexpected places and at unexpected times. When browsing Pinterest late at night, I often come across golden nuggets that make me pause, absorb, and then wonder at the world. Or, more precisely, I wonder at the moments that led to someone coming to that realization and sharing those words of wisdom with the world.
It's true, I've been known to have my very own moments of wisdom. I usually don't feel particularly inspired while dishing out my new world advice but in the following "pause, absorb, wonder" sequence, I realize that the thoughts I didn't really think about until they so eloquently flowed out of my mouth are actually quite useful and interesting. And yes, inspiring. In that moment, I am the spark.
Today is my birthday. It's as perfect a moment as any to search for inspiration and to evaluate the path that I'm on. It is also a perfect occasion to be thankful and count my blessings. Shelter. Water. Education. Health (mostly). Peace. Friends. Family. Democracy (in theory). Financial stability.
Yes, it's about the time of year when I ask you to take a few minutes of your time to learn about the World Partnership Walk and the great work done by Aga Khan Foundation Canada. As you may know by now, the World Partnership Walk is an annual event that raises funds and awareness to help alleviate poverty and build sustainable solutions in the poorest regions of the world. Now nearly 30 years old, the Walk has raised over $70 million for international development longterm programs and initiatives that help people help themselves, making it the largest and most successful event of its kind in Canada! Last year, almost 40,000 people walked in 10 cities across Canada to raise nearly $7 million!
And here's the kicker. This is my favourite part. The part that continues to inspire me year after year, day after day.
100% of the funds raised by the World Partnership Walk go directly to fund international development projects. That's right! Not one cent is spent on administration. Every single dime, dollar and penny helps to fund projects that are identified and implemented by local communities, targeting the areas they find to be of greatest need. All projects touch more than one area of need, like revitalizing a rural economy, ensuring access to clean water and sanitation, strengthening community-based organizations and educating new generations of girls and women, to name but a few.
In previous years, I've written about the importance of spreading hope. On the amazing effect of hand-washing on reducing water-born illnesses. On the impact of your donation. On how fundraising campaigns shouldn't focus on negative, sad images but rather, on positive, uplifting stories.
Last year, I raised just over $2,000. This year, I'm simply hoping that my passion for making the world a better place one step at a time will inspire you to fuel my spark. Make a birthday donation to the World Partnership Walk. Inspire me to keep walking the Walk, year after year. Together, we can inspire the world to walk together towards a better future.
Join me on Sunday, May 27th, 2012 for the World Partnership Walk at Metro Hall in Toronto. Meanwhile, feel free to ask me any question at all about the Walk, my experience visiting some of the projects our donations help fund, or AKFC's approach of longterm, sustainable international development that helps people help themselves.
Any amount, from $10 to $100 will make a world of change. Click here to make a donation now.
Go ahead. Inspire me.