Darren Pries-Klassen, Executive Director
From the Corner Office
This weekend, the nation will pause to reflect on the sacrifices of Canada’s veterans. We will observe the poppies and wreaths, listen to the bugle sound, and pray for a peaceful future. Like many of you, I feel sadness that so many young lives ended much too soon. I also feel sadness for the countless innocent people who find themselves between the rifles and rhetoric of war, whose lives are changed forever due to the fighting. As I consider my sadness I can’t help wondering if there isn’t a better way? Can we imagine a world where generosity is the norm and everyone puts the needs of others before their own?
For example, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, one in nine people on the planet (about 800 million) are suffering from chronic malnutrition. Although the world is capable of producing enough food to alleviate hunger, millions are starving. Confronted with this statistic, I wonder ‘How is that possible’? Research suggests the problem is not one of production, but rather one of distribution. It’s easy to suggest the problem lies with governments, foreign policy, and other red tape, but I tend to think generosity itself might go a long way towards solving global hunger.
A Lofty Vision
We all make countless decisions every day, and generosity is another one of these choices. At Abundance Canada, we believe in the possibility of a world where everyone lives generously. Not many people, not some people, but all people living generously. I love that our work is focused on helping make this lofty vision a reality. Although we primarily work through financial giving, we know that generosity is measured in more than just dollars and cents.
Every person is unique, and we all have varying resources available to give. As influential Brazilian Archbishop Dom Helder Camara once said, “No one is so poor that they can give nothing. And no one so rich that they cannot receive anything.” Material fortunes wax and wane. Times of abundance invite us to live and give generously, while times of scarcity encourage our humble gratitude. When we are generous – when we share – our actions testify to the world that we are all dependent upon one another for our wellbeing. With each act of generosity, we grow just a little bit closer together.
The Potential of a Generous World
A world where everyone lives generously has the potential to ensure that every child on the planet has access to education, healthcare, and nutrition. It could mean the eradication of poverty. Despair and suffering could give way to hope and opportunity. Of course, this is a big vision. None of us could ever do it all on our own. I believe we’re not meant to. Instead, each of us needs only to do our part for the impact to be huge. What a legacy! To quote a song made famous by Louis Armstrong and often sung as a prelude to Remembrance Day assemblies, “I think to myself, what a wonderful world.”