I was listening to a speaker on Saturday talk about the difference a few minutes makes.

He had met some people who were there the day the Federal building in Oklahoma was destroyed by a bomb many years ago.

He said he heard stories about how people risked their lives going into a burning, crumbling building looking for survivors.  Isn’t it amazing how brave some folks become in the face of disaster?

And yet, a few minutes earlier, these same people wouldn’t give others a second glance.  Or the time of day.

Interesting, huh?

I heard the same comparison about the disaster in Japan.  Not that many years ago, Americans and Japanese were at war and trying to kill each other.  Some of those same Americans are still alive today and making donations to help the Japanese people in this terrible disaster they are experiencing.

It’s emotional fruitbasket turnover.

What would it be like if we could find a happy medium to live in all the time? How would it change fundraising?

Then instead of either totally ignoring people or risking our own lives to save them, we could live every day in a state of love for our fellow man.  How would that change things?  Would we stop complaining about the guy who cut us off in traffic this morning?  Would we stop griping about our co-worker and their annoying habits?  Would we find a totally different space to be in with our teenager whose room is a train wreck?

How would we be as fundraisers with this new paradigm? Would we be kinder to our donors?

What do you think?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts.



  1. If I can’t complain how will I live? But really, my husband reminds me of a story about Mary Kay. She said that when she met or talked to people she would imagine they were wearing a sign on their chest that said “Make me feel important.” Interesting.

  2. Sandy,
    Or maybe saying just smiling at people you pass on the street. Or letting someone get ahead of you now and then. Small acts of kindness.
    I’m still a fan of the Golden Rule… treat others as you wish to be treated.

  3. There is a Zulu greeting I learned from social media guru Chris Brogan. It is:
    Sawubona…meaning: I see you. Most of us just want to be seen…if even for a second. And I believe if we make the effort to “see” others…we are seen in return. Thanks for the thoughtful post, Sandy.

  4. One of the most enjoyable parts of working with nonprofits is the opportunity to hear wonderful stories of people’s lives being changed. It is a daily reminder that whatever we are dealing with, it’s really small potatoes compared to the challenges some people face daily.

    Maybe before we can get to that happy medium, we have to be inundated with reminders of how good we have it.

  5. Dear Sandy

    I love your exhortation and gentle persuasive way of saying, “Hey, Stop Complaining. A lot of people need our help, no matter what our histories with them.”

    Thank you for helping us not focus so much on the “small stuff”!



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