Beyond Being Thankful
The holiday season is upon us, and for many of us this marks the time where we give thanks for everything we have, especially during Thanksgiving. We give thanks for our families and friends, for our jobs, our homes and for the comfy life many of us enjoy.
We also sympathize with those who are less fortunate—those who have less, who are sick or who have loved ones that aren’t well. However, most of us, including me, still miss the big picture. Most of the readers of this blog post haven’t had to experience the kind of life that would make us truly grateful.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve gotten frustrated with traffic or cursed because the “spinning wheel of death” popped up while I was working on a PowerPoint presentation. I’ve lost track of all the times I’ve thought, “Oh, woe is me,” because we lost a client or because a client was being difficult or rude.
However, in roughly two-thirds of the world, life is much tougher. And in that portion of the world, women have it exponentially tougher still. I recently read the book “Half the Sky,” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. It was a life-changing book and it humbled me. I thought the book was so important that I bought copies for each member of the digital marketing team so we could make it our next book club book.
It’s become clear to me since I read the book that most of my problems are barely problems at all. 99.9 percent of the time, the things that make us mad, frustrated or angry aren’t that big of a deal in the greater scheme of things.
It’s not that the challenges in our lives aren’t real. They are. We face disease and crime. We face anxiety and loss. We may face hardships that leave us devastated or overwhelmed at times.
But, for most of us, we don’t have to worry about Fistulas (what is a fistula?). We don’t have to worry about whether we’ll be able to feed our kids. We don’t have to worry about our daughters being sold into sex slavery. We don’t have to watch half of our population be subjected to a brutal and harsh existence. These events, as catastrophic as they are, occur daily throughout much of the world. We give thanks for the good things in our lives, but we often have no idea how lucky we really are.
So, this holiday season, I’d like to encourage us all to go beyond being thankful for the comforts of our lives and think bigger. We're amazed and inspired by the work of great organizations like these that help women and children around the world, and even though we can't match that level of impact, this year we're determined to make whatever small difference we can. To help spur action, we're going to:
- Donate 70% of our holiday party budget to Kiva, Save the Children, the Fistula Foundation and the Girl Effect Fund, four wonderful organizations chosen by our team.
- Give our employees a paid day off this holiday season to donate their time to a cause of their choice.
- Provide free copies of “Half the Sky” to the first 50 people who request a book (US only).
We are truly lucky. We have talented and dedicated team members. We have incredible clients. And we’re in an amazing industry and live in amazing times. We have the ability to do more. We have an obligation to do more. For that, we’re even luckier.
Thank you for reading this post.