Luxury Troubles

Luxury Troubles.  It’s the Treo that doesn’t work.   The camera upload of photos that malfunctions even when you’ve followed the directions four times.  Maybe it’s the driver that is much too slow (but if you drove the speed you wanted to, you’d likely only save 3-4 minutes)…. and it’s the co-worker or family member who makes a comment about your hors d’oeuvres, your hair, or  your significant other.  

But they are not really troubles. You’ll have nearly 90 million going to bed hungry tonight.  That’s trouble.

After many volunteer trips and seeing such dire circumstances across India-Cambodia-Thailand-Peru-Guatemala — I felt I had encountered Luxury Troubles in the United States.  We have so much. But it seems we focus on little items that annoy us, rather than focusing on all we do have.  Often we may focus on petty grievances… which rather need to be replaced with a singleminded devotion to thinking better thoughts, living better actions.   Think and Live better lives.  Perhaps then many of these Luxury Troubles are going to fade from our experience.

Interestingly enough, we reintroduce wisdom all the time.  I’m currently reading a fascinating biography on Theodore Roosevelt (A Strenuous Life)   In the late 1880s, they had a disease called “Handicap of the Riches.”  It was thought that many of the upperclass, members of society had become ‘overcivilized’. They had become nervous and unable to function.  The hardiness of life; the sweat equity; the commitment; the sturdiness of solid labor had been removed from their lives, and they were considered weakened physically and mentally.   Is that what is happening to us?  Are we going to let our lives, our happiness, the purity and goodness of our daily contribution and life, be muddied by our self created handicap?

We can do something in our own lives before we strive to change others. Let’s commit to focus on the positives, and to let go of our Luxury Troubles. Then, once we’ve  begun to clear up and refocus our lives on the good, we can outreach and help others.  But it’s a different type of help:  It’s a renewed, positive, energizing mindset that maximizes good and positive health for not only others, but also for ourselves.  

We need to help people in poverty. But we have to start with ourselves: Face our own spiritual poverty.   Please join me.

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About Pamela Hawley

Pamela is the founder and CEO of UniversalGiving™ (www.UniversalGiving.org). UniversalGiving™ (UG) is an award winning marketplace which allows people to give and volunteer with the top-performing projects all over the world. UniversalGiving™ offers a variety of ways for donors to become involved through individual Projects or Gift Packages. Visitors simply choose a region (such as Africa) and an issue (such as education or the environment) and receive a list of quality ways to give and volunteer. When giving, 100% of your donation goes directly to the project. UniversalGiving™ performs due diligence on all its projects through its unique, trademarked Quality Model™. To date, almost $1.5 million and 8,000 volunteers have been matched through www.UniversalGiving.org. UniversalGiving™ has most recently been featured in the Christian Science Monitor, Self Magazine, Chicago Sun Times, New York Times, L.A. Times, and CNNMoney. In addition, UniversalGiving™ was the 2006 Webby Award honoree and won W3's 2007 Silver Award for Creative Excellence on the Web. UniversalGiving™ is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, whose vision is to "create a world where giving and volunteering are a natural part of everyday life."™ Before UniversalGiving™, Pamela co-founded VolunteerMatch, which has matched more than 4 million volunteers with nonprofits. During her time with there, Pamela also launched VolunteerMatch Corporate, a customized version for employee volunteer programs. More than 20 Fortune 500 companies became clients, providing 43% of Volunteer Match’s sustainability. Pamela's global experience includes work and volunteering abroad in microfinance in remote villages of India; crisis relief work in the 2000 El Salvador earthquake; sustainable farming in Guatemala; digital divide training in Cambodia; and indigenous community preservation in Ecuador. Pamela has a political science degree cum laudé at Duke University and a Masters on scholarship at the Annenberg School of Communications, USC, in International Communications.

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