Photo courtesy of charity: water

It was August. I remember roaming through my backyard—lost in thought. I was searching for something that evaded me…some big idea, some grand reason, some great inspiration. I’d lost my motivation to do this thing called THE APERTURE EFFECT, and I was hoping to find it again. September and October were coming, and, like the sun that day, time was fading fast.

I never found it…not that day.

Instead, I found a thousand reasons not to do it. To do nothing. I thought of all the reasons I pass up charitable causes that cross my path throughout the year—some valid, most not.

  • I have more immediate financial needs.
  • I’m more persuaded by other needs.
  • Not sure where my money’s going.
  • The need is too big for my small donation to make a dent.
  • The process is too complicated.
  • I get distracted by other things.
  • I get annoyed by the asker.

I feared I wasn’t the only one like this. And if that’s true, how was I going to overcome these barriers to giving? How was I going to inspire anyone to give? And what if I created a goal I never reached? The fear of disappointment got heavy. Really heavy. And it nearly paralyzed me.

And then I found it. Not a big idea, grand reason, or great inspiration, but a plain idea, small reason, simple inspiration.

I found the vision of one person—for me it was a mother—taking her first taste of clean drinking water. In my mind, I saw her smiling … crying … laughing … exhaling … peaceful. With her, it was no longer about tackling a global water crisis, or reaching some arbitrary monetary goal, or even defeating my own mound of fears. It was all for this woman I was picturing in my mind. This stranger.

And now, here it is November, and I’m so happy to report that your $5.5k in donations will soon give 183 strangers like her their very first tastes of clean, safe water. Thank you so much for your generous spirits…for giving of your funds, your time, your gifts, and yourselves.

Now go on. Close your eyes. Imagine those 183 smiles.

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