Myanmar, China, and Charity.

Burmese

The stories of Myanmar and China will soon leave the media. Unfortunately we cannot rely on popular news outlets to keep us informed. Our media culture is suffering from cronic, industry wide, ADHD. Like hungry fish they are easy lured away, biting at anything shiny or new in a senseless game of catch and release.


Myanmar officials have raised the death toll to 78,000. The number will be higher tomorrow. If we are enabled to extend our hands to those who are suffering, what kind of creatures are we if we choose to stay our hands and sit on our wallets?


Here are two simple ways you can help those in need; make a donation to CARE International or to LDS Philanthropies.


CARE International accepts donations of $50.00 or more and 90% of your donations are allocated to community development and emergency relief worldwide.


LDS Philanthropies accepts donations of one dollar or more and 100% of your donation will be directed to emergency relief for either Myanmar or China. You can designate where you want the funds allocated.


Administrative costs are funded through other means allowing 100% of donor contributions to be directed to those in need. Although LDS Philanthropies is associated with a church, no proselyting is involved. Humanitarian relief is distributed to those in need without regard to race, gender, religion, political, or social affiliation.


Here is a link to an article explaining how both organizations have partnered with the UPS Foundation to deliver supplies to Myanmar.


Sometimes the suffering of the innocent can bring about a unity of heart. Now is the time to let the suffering of those in Myanmar and China bring greater unity to us all.


Do We Know Enough?

 Collective

Today, as I look across Atlanta from my desk, my thoughts are drawn to the challenges of life. When I consider the thousands of people within my view on the downtown connector, in office buildings, and on the streets I’m led to ask this question; do we know enough? Do we know enough collectively to solve the big problems. Problems like violence, dishonesty, and apathy.

I’m optimistic. I believe we know enough to end dishonesty and violence in all their malignant forms. The question is; do we want them to end?

Here is one example. Are the millions who say they would never steal or kill willing to give up the rush of violence by proxy? It seems to be a great contradiction to praise peace while conditioning the heart and mind to enjoy brutality via the entertainment industry. If digital thieves and assassins are the heroes, who are we?

Of the thousands of people in my view every day, how many are suffering right now because the rest of us are slightly off course? Is our fast paced proxy culture distracting us from fulfilling our human design?

Are we willing to examine our collective appetite and make personal changes?

I’m not suggesting more laws or regulations. I’m suggesting we stop and ask ourselves if we know enough to make more of a difference with our time and our talents, than we’re making today.

We are each endowed with the right to self regulate. What will be our social foot print?

Learning and Pandemic Readiness

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This is an update toFlu Pandemic: Compliance or Readiness” posted in February.

As of November 12, 2007 the World Health Organization has confirmed 335 cases of H5N1 in humans. Nearly two thirds of those infected have died (206 deaths). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is funding pandemic planning activities across the nation, yet for many organizations this is not a priority. It’s not even on the back burner.   

Imagine all organizations (vendors, customers, utilities, etc.) experiencing 35% absenteeism (35% is the projection). In that environment, our current model of “just in time” economics will not succeed.

Organizations need to develop contingency plans by trouble shooting to identify options for a successful strategy. Training professionals need to be at the core of this endeavor. Will your team be ready to deliver a life saving message when the time arrives? For a high level overview for the issue, watch Scott McPherson and Elliott Masie’s discussion, Learning and Pandemic Readiness recorded at The MASIE Center’s Learning 2007 this past October.  

These particular plans may not need to be put into action (Although an epidemiologists friend at the CDC says it’s only a matter of time before a pandemic strikes). It may not be bird flu that hits us, but as Dwight D. Eisenhower said, In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.

Recreational Criticism

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Recreational critics. You know them well. Whether it’s someone’s shoes, hair, or children these critics can’t seem to help themselves from pointing out flaws. It’s one of their favorite hobbies, a past time, solely for entertainment.

In polite society we turn our head away from the crowd before we sneeze or cough. Why is it that when someone has meaningless criticism and a desire to share it, they run directly into the crowd and intentionally spread it as far and wide as they can?

Even more surprising is how readily we, the listeners, adopt this critical attitude. We become hosts, drones, passing on these parasitic words. If someone sneezes on you, you’ll get over 99% of whatever bug you may have picked up. The percentages for overcoming the damaging effects of a critical nature are much lower. The antibodies come as a higher price.

Be careful to whom you lend your ear. Is there value in the criticism? Can something good come of it? If not, don’t feed the hobby.