Today hundreds of bloggers are writing about the “Girl Effect” and I want to add my voice as well. If you haven’t already seen this video “The Clock is Ticking” please take a look now – it’s only 3 minutes and it’s a powerful message.
The issue is heart-breaking isn’t it? 50 million 12-year-old girls live in poverty, and are facing discouraging odds of having lives that resemble anything we’d like to see for them. 50 MILLION. It can be easy to get overwhelmed – the problem is huge, and it’s hard to know what one person can do. It can be tempting to turn away, to pretend not to have seen. But these are the very situations that call us to step into our power to make a difference. It’s a call to find creative solutions, a call to open to inspiration, a call to make some contribution to shifting the world into one where things are better, safer, kinder, more sovereign for each and every girl.
Focusing efforts on interrupting a downward spiral cycle, and creating opportunities to raise the standard of living for girls is what girleffect.org is all about. They identify the critical pieces of the equation: education, adequate health care, freedom to marry when she chooses, and the support to raise a healthy family of her own.
And while I whole-heartedly endorse contributing to girleffect.org, I think we can take this both further and closer as well. Each one of us has the opportunity to change individual lives as well, and sometimes the action is nothing more than a moment of compassion, a moment of support, a moment of upholding a higher vision for someone struggling too hard to see it themselves. I believe in people and I believe in the power of action, and I believe that each one of us contributes to the collective whole.
I look back on my childhood and see clearly how there was such great help and support in shaping who I’ve become, and how much it arrived wrapped in unexpected packages of brief encounters with people who only momentarily touched my life. I am one of the blessed lucky girls who got an education, had adequate health care, got to choose when and who to marry. I want that for all girls. And so today, in addition to opening my checkbook to help in a physical way, I’m opening my heart and looking for a way to help in a less linear way.
Today I am inspired by this quote from Marian Wright Edelman:
Service is the rent we pay to be living. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time.
I’d love to hear any inspirations you’re harboring – please share.