WWP - Thursday July 3rd chatroom reminder and focus
- Please forward this email to other groups who might like to join in our discussions.
This email is about three things
- Our next online meeting
- An idea to discuss from the World Without Poverty (WWP) book
- A letter that also has the idea about small things adding up to make a big difference.
The next First Thursday meeting in the chat room http://www.worknets.org/chat/base/ is July3rd,
Fred has kindly said that he will be responsible for welcoming people (I will be at a conference - I don't know if there will be Internet access ). Fred plans to go to the cyber cafe for 3pm to 4pm his time - East African Time. I think that is 13.00-14.00 in London (British Summer TIme) and 12.00 - 13.00 GMT - but it is definitely 3pm to 4pm East African Time. Please make sure his journey is worthwhile and join him in the chatroom.
The planned focus for the chat will be World Without Poverty - but of course the chat can cover other things too. It is up to the people who attend to decide what they want to discuss. You do not need to have the Mohammed Yunus book in order to join in the discussions about his ideas. We will share ideas from the book gradually through the LearningFromEachOther group.
<<<<<<<<<<<<< 2.An idea to discuss from the World Without Poverty (WWP) book
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>In chapter 11 of his book "Creating a World Without Poverty" Mohammed Yunus challenges his readers to agree something they can do locally, something that is achievable by just two or three people. The rest of his book is really building up to this challenge. I say that because the rest of his book is a true story about wonderful social changes that have been made in Bangledesh through the work and ideas of Mohammed Yunus and the people connected with him. He shares the story of these successes - to inspire the rest of us to make a difference as well.
Mohammed Yunus keeps emphasising that the big programmes he now leads in Bangledesh did not start with a big national or international plan. He started locally, with small local steps, solving problems for individual people, and then replicating good ideas that work.
The first person he helped was a woman who made beautiful bamboo stools. Although she made and sold these beautiful stools she remained in terrible poverty. Mohammed Yunus wondered how this could be. She explained to him that she never had enough money to buy the bamboo to make the stools. She had to work through a
middle man who exploited her. He provided her with the bamboo but on one condition. When she had made the stool she could not sell it on the open market. It was his bamboo, so she had to sell the finished stool back to him, and he did not give her a fair price for her work. She was trapped by this middle-man.
Mohammed Yunus made her a small loan so that she could afford to buy her bamboo outright. She could then sell her stools for a fair price and she was not trapped any more - and she was able to repay the loan. It was not a large amount.
We need to start looking for other examples like that, real local examples around the study groups. Is there anyone in a situation like the woman who made stools? Or in some other situation of working hard, but needing a small loan just to make things work properly? It needs to be a small loan - like for the woman needing the bamboo - and it would be necessary to work out how soon it would be paid back.
Perhaps we can find lots of ideas, and make a list of them, and then choose the best ones to try. If the loan needed is not large (something like the bamboo) and it would be repaid, then it should be possible to arrange the loan. Even if we could only manage a loan for the best idea on the list it would be a start. We would have to choose the first idea very carefully - because if we choose right then the loan will be repaid and it can be used for the next idea on the list, and so on and on.
Let us start to discuss possibilities. We will need lots of ideas to toss about, (good ideas. bad ideas. interesting ideas - all kinds of ideas). Mixing lots of ideas together leads to new ideas - especially if all ieadea are accepted and no-one judges ideas as "good" or" bad" at the start. Ideas all mixed in together can grow into excellent ideas. From our ideas we will make real plans. Then we will need to learn how to do the financial calculations to decide which idea is best.
Let us think who we coudl make a small start to help someone like the maker of the bamboo stools.
>>>>>>>>>>3. A letter that also has the idea about small things adding up to make a big difference. <<<<<<<<<
Andrius forwarded the message below to holistic-helping. I am sharing it with LearningFromEachOther with reference to World Without Poverty for this reason. It gives a message of encouragement to us saying "Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach". This is very much the message of Mohammed Yunus in his book Creatign a World Without Povery.
> I want to share with you the following inspiring message I picked up from
> another Yahoo Group called Dragon Dreaming, led by John Croft:
> It was posted in April 2003 and attributed to author Clarissa Pinkola
> Estes but does not say when it was written.
> If you haven't time to read the whole thing just savour this passage:
> "Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of
> stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our
> reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another
> soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help
> immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will
> cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is
> needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding
> to, adding more, continuing."
> Best wishes
> John Rogers