Nearly every night, Josh and I watch NBC Nightly News. It’s a little ritual we’ve had for well over a decade. And, at least a few times a week, the stories make me cry.
Sometimes, the tears come from bearing witness to a fraction of the pain, suffering and injustice that people are struggling with in every corner of our world. But often, I cry after the Making A Difference segments which highlight ordinary people doing extraordinary, bona fide life-changing things for others.
I think I get so emotional when I watch those stories because, in my heart of hearts, I believe that everyday folks like you and me are so much more powerful than we give ourselves credit for.
And each time I see a story of another quiet, humble angel out there healing humanity, it serves as potent reminder to me that mere awareness of suffering is not enough to change it.
If we’re truly committed to a more loving and just world, we must ACT.
While I do my best to put that philosophy into practice (meaningful contribution is an integral part of our company and my work in this world), there are many times I fall short.
For example, I remember when I first saw the Syrian refugee crisis unfolding across Europe. I was heart sick. As the weeks and months continued on and the situation continued to grow more complex and insufferable, I often found myself yelling at the TV, “What is happening to these people? This is INSANE. Is ANYONE doing anything about this?!”
Thankfully, the ridiculous sound of my voice woke me up from my self-righteous slumber. I realized it was that kind of thinking that made me part of the problem.
I AM the ‘anyone’ I was so upset about it. And in that moment, the answer was plainly, “No. I was not doing anything about it besides yelling at Lester Holt on the screen.”
My next thought, “Hmmm. I’m someone who COULD be doing something about this. And if enough someones like me decided to at least do SOMETHING, together we could undoubtedly make a difference.”
That simple shift in my thinking and a few serendipitous swipes on my iPhone led me heart-first into supporting a brilliant campaign launched by some fiercely creative and loving souls called The Compassion Collective.
The idea behind it was something I believe to my core: that we are stronger when we stand together, and that our compassion for one another must extend outside our front doors, reach beyond our borders and transcend all concepts and realities of race, religion and gender.
I was so deeply moved to learn that within a few days, through only small donations of $5, $10 and no more than $25, everyone who stood up and stood together to support The Compassion Collective raised over 1 million dollars in just 31 hours.
Those funds went directly to support the refugees: our sisters, brothers and countless children who have been forced out of their homes, countries and lives and are facing unthinkable hardships simply to survive.
Here’s Why I’m Telling You This NOW
That campaign stayed in my heart for months.
Last week, I became an official project partner of The Compassion Collective and am proud to join forces with Glennon Doyle Melton, Elizabeth Gilbert, Brené Brown, Cheryl Strayed, Rob Bell, Valarie Kaur and Laverne Cox to expand and build upon this life-changing work.
I’m committed to doing everything I can to extend our reach, which includes humbly inviting YOU to join us for our current initiative.
Starting today, we’re taking back Mother’s Day. We’re returning to the roots of this holiday in the spirit of Julia Ward Howe, the abolitionist and suffragette who wrote the “Mother’s Day Proclamation” in 1870. It was a call to action asking mothers to unite in promoting world peace.
Here’s the gist, as beautifully shared on The Compassion Collective:
Mother’s Day IS about Love. But it’s not about commercial, comfortable love that snuggles up and stays home—it’s about love that throws open the door and marches out of our homes, beyond our fences and neighborhoods and into the hurting world to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, comfort the hurting, mother the motherless. Mother’s Day love is dangerous, revolutionary love that unites our one human family and reminds us that we belong to each other and that there is no such thing as other people’s children.
And for the next few days, we’d love you to stand with us and take a stand for love. 100% of all funds raised will be divided equally between two causes: continuing the work with refugees across Europe and caring for homeless youth here in the United States. Because love is not either/or. Love is and/both.
HERE’S WHAT TO DO NOW
If taking a stand for what is loving, compassionate and generous is important to you, please join us by taking these simple steps.
Go to The Compassion Collective and contribute — $5, $10, $15 or $25 dollars (which is the max). Give any amount that feels right in your heart.
2. JOIN & SHARE.
You can download an overlay to update your social media profile and tell the world exactly what you stand for. LOVE. Then use your voice to spread the word in whatever way feels best to you. Whether over your kitchen table, a cup of coffee, via text, email or on social media, please invite your friends and family to join in.
Here are a few tweets to get you started. Feel free to use them as is or write your own:
Leave a comment below and let us know that YES, you’re standing with us for a more compassionate, just world.
And just a few more important notes…
Homeless youth in the US and the Syrian refugee crisis in Europe are not the only humanitarian problems to solve. We could easily tick off at least 50+ equally heart-breaking areas of injustice, inhumanity and inequality that deserve attention, resources and focus.
In fact, the latest research indicates that more than 60 million people around the world are now refugees, having been displaced by civil war, terrorism and natural disasters.
But we cannot let the reality that our problems are so vast and complex blind us to the fact that something can and must be done. While we might not be able to do everything — we can, without a doubt, do something.
This is one of my somethings. This is also an open-hearted invitation for it to be one of your ‘somethings’ too.
And as I learned so wisely from my friends Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, “Just because we can’t help everyone doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help someone.”
You do not have to give money to proudly say #IStandWithLove.
Donating $5 might not be a reality for you at this moment. That’s one-hundred percent OK, because your power extends way beyond your purse strings.
Share this campaign by picking up the phone and having a conversation, send an email to your friends and family and post links to this campaign on social media. Use your voice and your power. We’ve included a few sample tweets above to get you started and encourage you to use the hashtags #IStandWithLove #CompassionCollective and direct people to The Compassion Collective.
The Compassion Collective has zero overhead and every penny received goes directly to help people in need.
You can learn all about the life-saving work being done here. And we’ll be sharing updates after the campaign, too. We’ll keep you posted every step of the way on this campaign and future initiatives as well.
The healing of the world is in our collective hands.
Never forget, we have more power than we realize. We have the power to direct our resources and our voices to things that truly express and support what we believe in. With every action we take, we’re one step closer to creating the world we envision.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your world, and for reading all the way till the end.
Even if this project doesn’t make your heart sing as it does mine, I hope this inspires you to find something that does.
With all my love and appreciation,