Why Wonderful Wednesdays hold the key to a better world
Like all Speakers for Good, I want to make a difference to the world as well as to my audiences.
But back in March I realised that Covid-19 was a test of humanity. And that in order to pass that test I would need to do more than ever before.
So at the start of the lockdown I wrote a letter to our grandchildren. And in it I identified my failures:
"Yes, I knew.
And, yes, I'm not doing more than ever before to put things right before it is too late for you.
Hatred. Division. Injustice. Unfairness. Cruelty. Poverty.Climate Change. Environmental Damage. Waste.
Although I knew about most of them, for too long I turned a blind eye.
For too long I did too little. For too long I thought sharing posts on social media was enough. For too long I hid behind excuses like 'there nothing else I can do' and 'nothing I do will make a difference'. And for too long I waited for others to show leadership.
But not anymore. Because as I sit here in my first day of coronavirus induced self-isolation, I have finally understood what we all now understand.
We must treat the most important things... as the most important things."
I also used the letter to make a series of promises to myself, to you and to all our grandchildren.
"So from now on I promise that:
Instead of talking, I will act
Instead of waiting for others, I will go first
Instead of focusing on 'me', I will focus on 'us'
Instead of reacting negatively, I will act positively
Of course, won't be perfect in any of these areas. But I will do the very best I can. Better than I have ever been before."
And finally I listed the actions I was going to take to honour those promises.
You can read the whole letter here if you want.
But for now I want to focus on one of the personal actions inspired by the letter.
You see, as a result of writing the letter I am now doing this:
"So, on behalf of my family and my business, backdated to 1 January 2020:
1. I am planting a tree every single day (half of these trees will be fruit trees, so that as well as tackling climate change they also provide food and a source of income for farming family in need)
2. Every single day I am giving homeless people a nutritious meal and a roof over their head
3. Every single day I am giving a vulnerable child a day's worth of food, clean water and access to library books
4. Every single day I am giving someone in a remote village access to life-saving healthcare
5. And to go beyond the bare necessities, every single day I am providing a child with the use of a musical instrument to enrich their life
6. Every single month I am also funding a business mentoring session for a woman to lift her family from the cycle of poverty by establishing and growing her business
7. Every single month I am giving a desperate refugee access to healthcare for the entire month
8. And every single month I am vaccinating a street dog so it doesn't give vulnerable people rabies
This help is being provided in the UK, USA, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam - and is part of my support for the Connected Together community as Speaker for Good.
And I hope to do even more in the future."
I use B1G1 to make those 8 givings every single Wednesday for the previous 7 days. And I call them “Wonderful Wednesdays”, because that’s precisely how they make me feel.
I love doing it because it:
• Allows me to make a difference every single day
• Builds a daily habit of kindness – and through that habit, brings me joy every single day
• Keep me focused on the things that matter most – every single day
• And all for less than $2 a day – a tiny fraction of the money I used to spend (and waste) every single day in the pre Covid-19 world
And I also love the thought that it could lead to something much bigger…
…Imagine if the leaders in every business did something like this every single day.
Imagine if by doing so they inspired their teams and families to also do something like this every single day.
Imagine if those people then inspired their friends, their colleagues, their bosses and their families to also do something like this single every day.
And imagine if they all also inspired the businesses they own, work for or do business with to make a difference every day.
Imagine how easy it would be to achieve the UN Global Goals. Imagine how much better the world would be. And imagine how we would all feel.
Even if we all only made a small difference each… it would add up to something big. Something transformative. Something beautiful.
It has to start somewhere. So why not right here? Right now.
Why not by us all writing open letters to our grandchildren (even if, like me, you don’t actually have any)?
And why not by you joining me in becoming a daily personal giver?
After all, the key to passing the Covid-19 test of humanity, the key to a better world for our grandchildren, and the key to more happiness for us all really could be as simple as…