This is a guest post by Bharat
It started a while ago… although, whether it has been months or weeks or years, I cannot say for certain. There has been a nagging itch somewhere at the back of my mind. I wouldn’t call it discontent or pity or anything negative… No, it’s been more like a “Call to Arms”, a “wake up and do something” a “HELLO – can you not see!!!” I’m sure it’s relatively common, or at least I hope it is.
Then, two months something rather odd happened. I left work earlier than usual (4pm). My reason for leaving was: “I’m not completely sure why, but I just have to go.” My boss was not convinced… but seeing that I’d finished the week’s work, obliged.
I walked out of the building and started walking. It felt like something out of Forrest Gump: here I was, just walking.
Four hours and at least 12 miles later, I was in Knightsbridge in front of my church. Well, church is a bit of an understatement … it’s the Brompton Oratory: a magnificent, breathtaking building. The only place I’d found since returning from my travels in India where I’ve been able to Remember.
I went in.
As I asked for guidance, I noticed something unexpected: on the walk I hadn’t needed to stop. Not once. My steps to the Oratory had been completely unbroken- every traffic light had shown the green man; at every road I needed to cross, a gap had appeared between the cars for me to pass through. I hadn’t eaten all day, and yet I still wasn’t particularly hungry. When moments such as these grace our path, it’s hard not to feel “Connected”. I left that place knowing that I’d been heard… and that when the time was right, the necessary forces would find me.
A few weeks passed and news came from India that our home town (Surat) had been the victim of what was effectively a flash flood. Water levels rose up by 10 feet in 15 minutes. The pictures were shocking. It made me realize how de-sensitized I had become to images of plight. It took the sight of familiar places ruined or suffering to encourage some action.
A week later, on impulse, I wrote an email to friends and family saying I would climb five mountains (four in North Wales, and one in Scotland). It was something I’d been meaning to do for a while. Now I had no excuses… it was the perfect vehicle to encourage some fund-raising. The email was surprisingly well received. That evening I had my first vote of confidence and support. The following day, the pledges started coming in.
The trek to the mountains was a true adeventure. In many ways, I had no right to be there. I wasn’t fit enough and after the first peak my knee gave out. Yet, somehow, I was propelled to the top of every peak… and finally, thank God, returned safely home.
I’ve been back just a little over a week. The pledges to date have been counted up and currently stand at 300GBP. I’m NOT writing this to encouraging more. My Mother is heading out to India in October and we will find a small, grass roots charity/ NGO to work with. Our hope is to build an organization where the donors can feel confident that their monies are being utilized appropriately (with no admin costs from our end), and the people doing the work in India can feel confident that they have a reliable, supportive partner. To do this, a small amount of money is best to start with. So, this post is not to raise cash!
Like the walk, I’m not completely sure how all of this is going to turn out. The challenge (the hill-waling) is done, the money is in the process of being collected and an area where a difference can be made has been found. Now the pieces have to be put together. And that will come over the following weeks and months.
The reason for posting here is this: I had a thought.
Are there others out there? People who look around and know something isn’t quite right. Or am I just a neurotic? My hope is that two people (Amit not included- that would be too easy) will reply to this and say we will Start something.
They will find a cause, organize a fundraiser, set up themselves up formally (bank account/ charity registration where necessary), find a genuine Partner (be it in a developing country or otherwise) and work with them. And then, those two people will find two more… and so on and so on. I know its all very Pay it Forward. But it’s got to be worth a shot.
I’ve had a URL www.SilverButterfly.org for a while. It’s just sitting there. If two people are willing to take the time out (it doesn’t matter which town, city, state, or country) and want to do this and discuss this further. Then we will build the site.
Mother Teresa is quoted as saying: “We cannot do great things, only small things with great love.” If each of us, whoever has the means, picked up a caused and ran with it until it was done, the world, I think, would be very different. But such action is often difficult alone. There are so many reasons not to do it. Maybe, just maybe, there will be a few of you who think there is something in all of this… and together we can make that small bit of difference.
I am at your disposal.