by Stephanie Coles
Like many of you, I spent the last week of 2017 contemplating what I would like to do differently in 2018. What goals should I set for myself? I jotted some notes down, but I was curious about what others were doing. I needed inspiration.
Here is what I found. Last year, a digital marketing company called iQuanti reported on the most popular new year’s resolutions based on people’s Google searches. The results were as follows:
- Get healthy
- Get organized
- Live life to the fullest
- Learn new hobbies
- Spend less, save more
- Read more
Their findings may not come as much of a shock; it’s a good list. They are all great things to think about when trying to improve oneself. And although I don’t know how these trends may have changed over the past year, I would wager not much.
Because I’ve been hyper-aware of Niger while volunteering to blog for Wells Bring Hope, I couldn’t help but wonder how different this list would be if I was Nigerien. I imagine my list would look something like this:
- Find regular access to clean water (61% of rural villagers lack safe water)
- Take care of 7 children (average number of children per family)
- Avoid extremism (more information here)
- Protect myself from disease (specific disease risks include malaria and diarrhoea, cholera, hepatitis and measles)
- Learn to read (literacy rate is 28.7% for adults and just 15% for women)
The more I think about the gap in privilege between myself and the average 30-year-old Nigerien woman, the more I’m grateful to have connected with Wells Bring Hope. Rather than let the disparity of these lists depress me, I choose to let it inspire me.
I am sorry to say that last year at this time, I wasn’t focusing on a new year’s resolution that would allow me to give back or inspire people the way that writing for Wells Bring Hope has. However, in September I started on this journey to write for WBH, and it has been one of my proudest achievements of 2017.
This entry is a call to ask you, the readers of this post, to find a way to use your privilege to help create change in 2018. This is a call to pause, to think about a cause you’re passionate about, find a way to make a difference, and to act. It only costs $30 to give someone access to clean water for life. Try giving up an espresso once a month and use that money to become a recurring donor. Just $5 each month adds up and by the end of the year, your contributions will have transformed two lives. Find a way to focus the energy that comes along with a resolution into something larger than yourself. Then find a way to inspire others to do the same.