“An individual has not started living fully until they can rise above the narrow confines of individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of humanity. Every person must decide, at some point, whether they will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgment. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
In many ways, 2016 was a year of witnessing the dawning of the darkness of destructive selfishness. Nativism, populism, protectionism, racism, were but some of the expressions of looking out for ourselves, often at the expense of others, especially marginalised and disenfranchised communities. Though King was writing this many decades ago, the words ring true today in ways for which time has not been a teacher. Globally, we start 2017 in what can be described as tumultuous times politically, economically, socially, and for some of us, personally.
I’ve experienced in 2016 that change is the only constant. Uncertainty is the order of the day, but it is only in uncertain times that we can become more focused, more determined, and more creative. How do we rise above the confines of our individual concerns to the broader concerns of humanity? How do we choose to walk the path of creative altruism and away from destructive selfishness? How do we answer life¹s most persistent and urgent question?
At Awful Grace, we acknowledge that nativism, racism, religious intolerance, of looking out for ourselves at the expense of those who are different from us, only breeds animosity, and ultimately conflict. So in 2017, through initiatives (community development in Nepal), programmes (Toki Formation), projects (that are being conceived and will be rolled out in due course), we seek to build bridges, not walls. We seek to foster understanding, not perpetuate division.