Wednesday 8th February 2012, London.
Recently I've been thinking about how I can make Wearelucky reach out further. I recall one of the very first Lucky People (Chris the reluctant accountant) asking me how I planned to expand the project and in a gust of bravado I vowed to make it up as I went along. And that's kind of what I've done. I think it's worked out OK, but there's definitely a huge potential to do more. I remember Chris the reluctant accountant suggesting that a good way to 'pay it forward' might be to allow existing Lucky People to nominate or find new LPs and so on and so forth. I said I'd think about it, then switched the conversation to another subject. Unperturbed, ChrisTRA sent me the name and contact details of his nominee, another fella called Chris. I thanked him for following up, promised to give it some more thought, then promptly forgot all about it.
A few months later I was included on a group e-mail sent by ChrisTRA. He was trying to drum up a few quid for a brilliant project instigated by his pal, the other Chris, who I'd forgotten all about. I felt bad. I hate it when people promise to get in touch, then just ignore me, but I'd gone and done exactly that. I immediately emailed the other Chris and asked him to be part of Wearelucky. He wanted in and the money helped to turn his truly inspirational project – a new primary school for a small village in Sierra Leone – into reality. Fantastic! Perhaps this 'pay it forward' thing has legs after all.
Questions & Answers
1. What were your first thoughts and feelings when propositioned with Wearelucky?
That you must have too much money for your own good! But also that it is a great idea and a fantastic thing to do to be able to make a difference to so many lives. And finally, that I am lucky!
2. What have you decided to do with the money?
Contribute it to the building of a primary school in a small village in Sierra Leone, which previously had no school at all. I've been supporting the school for about 5 years but until now the classroom was a thatched hut. Now the children will have a proper building. I would have loved to use the money to do something special for my parents because I owe so much to them but I have made this commitment to the people in the village.
3. What does good mean to you?
Smiles. Helping other people. Positivity. Happiness.
4. Is it better to make a small impact on a big problem or a big impact on a small problem?
It is better to have a lasting impact.
5. Did you think about spending the money on yourself and what difference the money might make to your life?
Not really, I'm very fortunate that I have a comfortable life. 1k is more 'cash' than I can ever imagine having again but I needed to see this project through.
6. Do you feel that being involved is important to the giving process?
I think it is nice to be involved for personal satisfaction but not essential. I do feel that giving should be done responsibly to avoid unexpected adverse situations, so perhaps being personally involved is important in that sense. I've seen so much well intentioned giving do harm.
7. Why do you think we feel good about doing something for others?
We see so much terrible stuff going on in the world that we feel is beyond our control or influence but by giving we can at least make a small difference. Perhaps it is also a way to repent our sins, or make up for things we have done wrong. Sometimes it's easier to help someone else change for the better, rather than addressing our own behaviour.