I’ve been helping out with the United Way campaign at work again this year, so… in $$, last week…. in kind, this morning.
Read this very carefully because I’m going to ask you for something, and it’s a very simple thing that might make a big difference.
Now, I know that there that really simple truth of your already-hectic existence. You get this question all the time: a simple ask, but with big impact. I know I hear it, read it, see it, feel it. But this time it really is something simple. All I want it your attention and maybe a really simple idea — if you can spare it.
In less than three years I’m going to be turning 40. It’s not old, exactly, but it is one of those milestones of age –mid-life– when you turn and look back, wondering what you’ve accomplished with your time. Some people have a mid-life crisis by running a marathon… but then I just did that. Other people have a mid-life crisis by buying something big or trying to re-capture their youth… but that has never struck me as very practical. And yet other people have a mid-life crisis by flipping their lives upside down and looking for something exciting and new… but to tell you the truth, I’m pretty happy with my life right now so I’m not looking to change it much.
But I’m going to have a mid-life crisis pretty soon, or so statistics and popular culture tell me, and I’d like to make it something cool… big… different… positive.
The purely selfish part is the part where I tell you I want to do this so I can write about it here. I will do just that. A new blog series, perhaps. Write about it. Brag about it. (And maybe inspire others to do the same thing?)
But the other half of that equation is when I tell you what I want to do… and how I need your help.
Giving back. Doing right. Teaching. Donating
Before I turn 40 I want to do 40 Random Awesome Things… for other people. Call it acts of charity, generosity, or whatever. I want to figure out a list of 40 things that are (a) awesome and (b) help a person or people or kids or animals or the universe. Strangers. Family. Friends. Enemies? Big act of kindness. Small works of lending a hand. Giving back. Doing right. Teaching. Donating. Anything.
I just don’t know what, exactly. I have some ideas. I have an ineffable notion in my mind of what I think some of those 40 things might be, but I don’t know exactly what they are.
So, I’m going to ask you for something, and it’s a very simple thing that might make a big difference: first help me make that list, and then keep me honest towards my goal. That’s all.
Comment your ideas below and stay tuned…
Regular readers may have noticed that since the first of January I’ve been a bit more actively verbose on this blog than in months previous. Yes, that’s right. I’ve blogged every day of the new year so far. Did YOU notice? That hasn’t been by accident — though perhaps a factor of being on holidays — but instead has been a deliberate step into a crazy scheme idea I’ve had brewing. A blog-a-thon for 2010.
Yes, you a probably thinking exactly right; I really am going to try to blog every day in 2010.
And to sweeten the pot? Yup. I would like pledges. Huh?
Here are the rules:
1) I’ll be taking pledges until the end of the year (or end of the blog-a-thon, whichever comes first), but the event will only continue past January 31st if I get at least five different pledges from different people by that date. You can make a public pledge in the comments of this post, send me an email for an anonymous pledge, or I’ll set up something more automated later on when things get rolling.
2) The pledges should be between a minimum of 10c/day and up to a maximum of your choosing. That means you are in for at least (best case) $36.50 and right up to 365 x whatever your daily pledge happens to be. Pledge a buck means you might owe $365. Pledge $10/day, and that could be as much as $3,650. Please do the math before you pledge.
3) 100% of the pledges will be donated to a legitimate charity — you can do this directly (if you want the receipt) or through me — chosen by a blog-based vote/poll later this year. I’ll be asking for suggestions later. I’m not going to play collection agency here, so paying up when it’s over is up to you. The police aren’t going to come knocking if you don’t pay, but I’ll be posting the results when the whole thing wraps. Wink, wink.
4) The total amount of your pledge will be equal to the dollar amount pledged multiplied by the number of consecutive days between January 1st, 2010 and December 31st, 2010 where I’ve posted a legitimate, written-on-the-day post of at least 100 words. Beyond length here is no stipulation on content… though if you think it’s a bogus post (breaking the rules or the spirit) please comment. (For reference, this post is is roughly 530 words long.) The only exception for consecutive posting will be for up to two excused breaks of a maximum of seven days each for one of the following reasons: sudden serious illness, international travel beyond internet access, general system failure of the internet beyond my control, or other genuine emergency situation. That means if I miss a day mid-February it’s all over and you might end up only owning $4 or something. But if I don’t miss any days until December 31… kah-ching!
Now, you may be asking yourself why I’m doing this. And honestly, I’m not sure I could answer that beyond the need I’ve had to feel like I’m doing something more worthwhile with my time here. And that’s about it. It’s about the warm fuzzy. And is that such a bad reason?
Let the pledging begin! Yes, that means you…
The weather had cooled, and since we had neither laundry nor other wedding-related chores to attend to, Karin and I decided to check out “Finding Nemo” at the Coquitlam Silvercity last night. (Ahhh.. cheap movie night. The onky good reason to keep your Tuesdays free.) I’ll skip the movie review and simply say that the Pixar flick exceeded my expectations. It was cool. Check it out.
On the other hand, going to the movies did bring up another issue and tug into existence a bit of an ethical connundrum. It seems — and as I work for a health-charity and actually know the person mentioned in that article as well as others directly affected — that Famous Players has stepped up and told people with physical disabilities who require full time assistance that their paid caretakers can no longer attend movies with them for free.
So what you say?
Yeah, that’s a reeeeeally fair idea. Considering that anyone who needs said service is (a) often not in the position to pay one movie ticket, let alone two, (b) not really given a choice whether they can bring an aide along, or in other words, it’s two go or none go, and (c) already confined by the limitations of living within our often inaccessible society, this leave many people limited by their choice of movies too. Way to go Famous Players.
I guess we need to free up more seats for the street racing teenagers who are going to go wrap their cars around telephone poles or little old ladies crossing the streets later tonight.
So, like I said: ethical dilemma.
I had two empty seats on my right, last night at the theater. Karin had two to her left. That’s six seats that we took up. Nuts to you, Silvercity. We only paid for two!