"Visions of World Benefit & Global Responsibility: Perspectives of McGill Students

Thursday, August 9, 2007

My Butterfly Effect

Our society based on capitalism have stemmed from the early days of Industrial Revolution where more efficient production and higher profit became the sole goal for most legal entities. The economic ideal has been hailed for its “ability to promote economic growth, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and capacity utilization” to bring about improved “bring about improved standards of living, such as better availability of food, housing, clothing, health care.” Supportive arguments have suggested that the capitalism economy has “offers far more opportunities for individuals to raise their income through new professions or business ventures.” Unfortunately, as well as being the necessary foundation for the capitalist system, our fundamental greed is a “profoundly benevolent force in human affairs” to create many “flawed priorities” in the society. (Wikipedia, 2007)

On the other extremity of the spectrum is the ideal of communism, which tries to pursue a social organization which is “classless” and “stateless,” based on “common ownership of the means of production.” Lead by historical people such as Marx, Lenin, Mao, Trotsky, the utopian ideal of equal sharing and distribution of wealth seemed too good to be true, and has proved to be so. However to citizens in despair in any country disfunctionalized by war, famine, political tyranny, or illness, the concept of communism can seem to be the only savior left. It is a light of blind hope of sharing amongst the commons. Yet similar to its counter part, the weakest link to the theory of communism is one of our basic human attributes: greed. In a society where everyone is paid equal amounts, where all the wealth is shared, who would be willing to step up and work harder than everyone else? How many leaders with absolute control of the socio-economic aspect of a country would genuinely express their care and love for the people through integrity? (Wikipedia, 2007)

The greed in each and every individual being is the largest problem of our modern society whether it is in an advanced nation or in the poorest corners of the world. With every four of us, one other fellow human being live on only $1 each day. And a third of us do not have access to a clean water source, what we usually take for granted in daily lives. With every one of us, another person is under malnutrition and illiterate. What has come to our world with all of these “wonderful idealisms”? Where is the so called “economic growth and prosperity” that capitalism has projected? Where have all these “shared wealth” gone that communism has promised? With each ideal there is a fundamental flaw in which is nearly impossible to overcome. That is, unless we all take part in our individual ways to create a better earth not out of self-interest, but from the love of each other.

The 1 Dollar 1 Day Project I founded in 2006 while studying in my last year of high school has been my small contribution. Carrying the motto of “Unite. Initiate. Pursue.” 1 Dollar 1 Day started from a monthly donation to Canadian Feed the Children to sponsor two children, Fred and Sauda and aimed to “sponsor both children throughout their education years for as long as possible, giving them the opportunity to fulfill their future dreams” of becoming a pilot and nurse. (1 Dollar 1 Day, 2006) My vision in founding the organization was to generate the awareness of these poverty issues around the corners of the globe to our surrounding high school population and encourage small contributions in any shape to help the children in need, and eventually help the organization expand to enable larger activities. Within months before my graduation of high school, 1 Dollar 1 Day had developed a Hear Council for guidance, an organization website for public announcements, presentation events for information distribution, and most importantly a devoted body of members contributing towards the group by providing their time, ideas, and financial help. I was given the chance to watch my small contribution develop and flourish in the small community.

For the future of the 1 Dollar 1 Day Project lies in the strategic placement of short and long term goals for development. As 1 Dollar 1 Day Victoria is capable to function independently, it is possible to instigate a new project based here in Montreal, localizing management and contribution towards the immediate society. For the coming year in Montreal, I am envisioning a group started by fellow university students, addressing the homelessness and helping their lives in Montreal. The small contribution for my year would run multiple food/item distribution events towards the Montreal downtown core homeless, supplying them with cooked food and items of daily necessity throughout all seasons.

Immediate goals are to achieve the following in order begin as an Interm Status Club with the Student Society of McGill University (hereafter SSMU):
* gather 5 other fellow members who share the same interest
* inform the SSMU Interest Group Coordinator of set-up intentions
* prepare a constitution for the group, including name, mandate, membership and meeting schedule
* proceed to constitution review with Interest Group Coordinator, and
* submit final constitution to SSMU and obtain Interim Status.
Acquiring the Interim Status will open the initial rights of the club to:
* apply for funding through the Campus Life Fund,
* book rooms in the Shatner Building at the Interim club rate,
* participate in Activities Night at no cost,
* obtain a mailbox in the Shatner Building, and
* obtain an email address and webspace from SSMU.
Following the achievement of the short term goals, the initial group will need to further comply with the medium term requirements set by SSMU for the proceeding 3 months:
* sign up 25 members
* fill in all Executive formal positions mentioned in constitution, and
* host at least 3 activities.
With these requirements met and given a further green light from the Interest Group Coordinator’s review, the organization will be able to finally achieve Full Status as a club of the SSMU, with the additional privileges of:
* apply for funding directly from SSMU,
* book rooms in the Shatner building at the Internal rate,
* get a photocopy account,
* use the SSMU fax machine and long distance telephone, and
* apply for office space. (SSMU, 2007)
Obtaining Full Status for the club will open doors for member gathering, information session privileges and funding that will be crucial to the successful expansion of the organization in order for it to obtain sufficient volunteer force and resources to achieve its local homeless support activities.
Longer term goals can be set to finding cooperative supplies of resources, food and any type of marketing methods from our community businesses.
In addition, and existing organization based in Montreal, the Santropol Roulant is a “non-profit and volunteer driven Meals-On-Wheels organization” (Santropol Roulant, 2007) which would be a possible source of information learning, development advice and inter-organizational cooperation.

Through these activities, and local education in the problems we face in our community, I hope to promote awareness of the invisible flaws of our society and in our human nature. My future “Ideal” would be for everyone to be able to recognize their inner “greed”, appreciate what luxury that already exists in their lives, and little by little be able to share this wealth, to contribute in any amount towards the society in hope to create a brighter future with the tiny happiness they give. I believe any small flutter of these butterflies of love can some day create a tremendous change throughout the entire world.







No comments: