Seth Godin wrote this yesterday and it resonated so much with me that I kept thinking about it, even as I took a shower, baked turkey and prepared other side dishes.
“In the US, today some people will give thanks for what they personally have. Others will focus more on what has gone right for family and friends. And others will dig deeper and think hard about what they can do to take an even longer view, and to create a platform where even more people will be thankful a year or a decade from now.” – Seth Godin
I grew up in Africa and I know what having limited money, resources, and infrastructure looks like. And I say this knowing that Nigeria is doing really well compared to other countries in Africa. Education is still very much a luxury, and food on the table almost never happens for some, as they scavenge their way through life. I wish I could be grateful for these people somehow. I wish that somehow, they have access to basic needs like food, water, medicine, and even maybe an education. I wish that more and more platforms, like the one Seth speaks about will spring up this year, and they will make me even more thankful this time next year.
Right now, there are great organizations creating platforms for women, young girls and family to get access to basic needs and a decent education. I am so grateful for them.
For example, In rural India, 45 percent of households lack access to electricity. In states like Bihar, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh – among the poorest in India – 80 to 90 percent of households are un-electrified. Villagers rely on kerosene lanterns for household light and diesel generators for irrigation and commercial power. Both are expensive and destructive to health and the environment. Husk Power Systems was founded in 2007 to target the 20,000 villages deemed out of reach by the Indian government. The company takes agricultural waste, rice husks otherwise left to rot, and converts it into gas that powers an off-the-shelf turbine to generate electricity. Each HPS plant serves two to four villages. User fees depend on the number and type of electrical appliances subscribers own. The company keeps costs low by running insulated wires along bamboo poles to subscribing households, businesses and farms. It also receives a capital expenditure subsidy of up to 66 percent per system cost from the Indian Ministry of Natural and Renewable Energy.HPS currently has 75 operational plants in Bihar serving more than 150,000 people. HPS extends villagers’ activities beyond daylight hours, promoting economic development and microenterprise; reduces indoor air pollution, improving health; increases the time children can study, improving education; reduces the amount of time women spend collecting firewood, increasing gender equality; and reduces emissions, protecting global and local environments.
There are so many other individuals and organizations that are impacting lives of people everywhere. It makes me question everything I have done this year, and I ask myself, what could I have done better this year for others? And what I can do this coming year to make life a little easier for other people. Will you ask the same of yourself?