This is the beginning of an amazing post by Patty Stonesifer, former head of the Gates Foundation, and current Chair of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institute:
The pain and devastation left by AIDS, poverty, poor education, unequal rights, tyrannical or unrepresentative government and other maladies was easy to identify. But harder to put a finger on was…”Why?” Why did these big problems still exist? Why wasn’t more being done to solve them?
In thousands of hours of listening and learning I came to believe that the biggest problem wasn’t severe poverty or disease. No, the biggest problem was our failure, individually—you, me, our neighbors—to take seriously our shared responsibility to act, today, to change the problems we see.
You can’t change everything. I can’t change everything. Even Bill Gates can’t change everything. But that is no reason to allow ourselves the luxury of inaction.
We do care. So why don’t we act? I think the answer is simple: We either don’t know where to start, or we don’t believe that what we can do – as one person or even as a small group – can really make a difference.
The truth is, each of us can make a huge difference. Probably one of the best parts of working in philanthropy was the opportunity to see how one person could make a lasting impact on the world from the ground up.
Click here to read the rest of Patty’s inspiring piece on how each one of us can truly make a difference.