What a birthday!
Started with breakfast with tbV [aka the beautiful Val, my lovely wife] and our former housemates from Oakland, California, Aaron and Sarah at Martin’s, a local bakery/restaurant just down the road from us.
It finished with a drive along Chapman’s Peak, some Sticky Ribs and a game of Lords of Waterdeep [which i totally crushed, although it was my birthday so who knows what was going on].
But in between all of that there was Mapula. A young black woman in South Africa with a university debt to pay off so that she can start looking for a job.
My hope for my country is to live in an all inclusive society, where people can actually begin to perceive each other as human beings.The world is made out of so much love by God we ought to start giving it, there is a Pedi proverb that goes”Motho ke Motho ka batho”roughly translated it means you are only a person through other people that is my hope for a new South Africa.
SHOW ME THE MONEY
With an approaching birthday, there really wasn’t anything i needed and not really anything i wanted either, and so i was quite happy to less this one sneak by… until i heard Mapula’s story, and suddenly that Pedi proverb rings true: “Motho ke Motho ka batho” – i am a person through other people.
That echoed the strains of Ubuntu and the idea that in Africa the village raises the child. Suddenly i knew what i wanted for my birthday. My friend Tristan had started an Indiegogo campaign to see if we could raise the $2, 400 needed to help Mapula and so i quickly put together a post, inviting my friends to be a part of raising the money as a birthday gift to me.
It was SO EXCITING to watch the percentometer rise throughout the day as people started to give. Before i went to bed, i wrote these thoughts in my status:
More than 350 birthday messages, from who knows how many countries around the world – THANK YOU – each one means so much – and so many of the messages flip stories back into my head of how i met you or a conversation we had or an event we attended together – so many memories in one beautiful day…# i imagine i am one of the few people who responds to each message personally [or tries to] and probably the only person on Facebook who has ever spammed 350 people with a Birthday Present link [so much so that i had to start identifying tigers and watches and lions in groups of photos to prove my non-botyness]# BUT i absolutely believe in the link and it has been great to connect with Mapula and see the fund-raiser start the day small and hit 67% by the time i am heading to bed – you can check the results here: https://www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/mapula-s-dream# i REALLY want to thank each and every person who gave from R100 to $400 – the time and energy and effort and money may feel small on an individual basis but for one person it is life-changingly-significant and i hope this is a story we get to hear more about…but THANK YOU really to everyone who gave… you have helped to make a difference. Most of you saw the birthday ask, but not everyone got to read the follow-up post shared by Mapula giving us a glimpse into her life and dream:# Lastly, my friend Leah Rudman had this to say:I reckon you find one of these a month(1) people trust you so they trust you trust who we are giving to(2) you’ve got friends across the whole world and if we all do something small it can do something big.(3) people sometimes need to find opportunities to exercise their generosity(4) most people can set aside $8 or R100 each month!!(5) habitual generosity will hopefully become a more frequent habits in their own daily lives.Thoughts??So i will leave that with you… If you are someone who would be up to committing R100 or $6 or the currency equivalent of your choice to a worthy cause once a month i can definitely do the ground work in finding it… but maybe let me know below if you’d be keen and we can gauge interest…Thank you for celebrating my birthday loudly and sincerely – i feel much loved and i am SO SUPER EXCITED for the possibilities of this year ahead and especially for South Africa that i know so many people feel so bleak about – there is so much reason for hope and optimism.You are loved,brett fish