I first got the idea to donate my birthday to charity: water from an episode of the Robcast where Rob interviews Scott Harrison, the man who got it started. The idea was intriguing and the charity sounded like one of the most unique out there as far as donations and the allocation of their funds. But it wasn’t until the Liturgists podcast on suffering that I finally committed and signed up to donate my own birthday.
That was in November.
However, as my birthday approached I began to second guess whether or not I should actually do it.
“It seems like a corny thing to do on your birthday.”
“Could you be more self-righteous?”
“You just want people to be impressed with yourself.”
“You’re not really going to raise much money, so it doesn’t really matter.”
These are all things I told myself as I became more and more self-conscious and worried about how others would view me. I didn’t want to become just another person asking for money. I didn’t want to become another person trying to display my “perfect” life on social media.
And that is when it hit me.
Over the years I had been the person looking down on others for being worried about how many likes they got, who viewed their profile, how many friends they had, what other people thought of them on social media. And now I was that person. Overanalyzing what I would post, how I should say it so I sounded good, should I even post it at all?
Social media has become a place where we present a false self to the world. An idealized self. We post pictures of our sweet vacations so others can be jealous. We post scathing political opinions to display authority without having to deal with he vulnerability of a real conversation. Essentially, we have turned social media into our vulnerability shield.
But, to truly flourish in this life one must embrace vulnerability. It is how we grow, how we humble ourselves, build deep relationships, and experience God.
So, on my birthday I set up a donation page and posted the link to my Facebook.
From that single post, I have raised over $250 and, as a result, 8 more people in this world will get clean drinking water. From one post!
This opened my eyes to the power social media has for good in this world, especially for people like myself with the incredible privileges and wealth that come with living in a country like the United States.
If used for good, social media can revolutionize the world.
Never before have people been so connected.
Never before has it been so easy to get 8 people clean drinking water.
Never before has it been so possible to show grace and mercy to others.
Never before have we had the authority, the capacity to create real change, to bring about more love and more peace.
It’s time now to take the authority we have and raise our vulnerability. Only together will they bring about…
Flourishing for ourselves.
Flourishing for others.
And perhaps, in the process, the redemption of social media.
Grace and Mercy ⇒ Love and Peace
If you would like to donate to my charity: water campaign follow this link: 24 years. 24 people.