Today, I have been once again reminded about my passions and inspired to give of myself to humanity because the truth is, we don’t live for ourselves. We shouldn’t live for ourselves.
I have also realized that the most of what I am today is as a result of either the blood or the sweat of others who gave selflessly. People who gave freely.
In thinking ‘Philanthropic’, my attention was drawn by a colleague to great people who did philanthropic work. People like Richard Branson, Jimmy Wales. And what he said was that these men made a name for themselves before they moved into community service, as you may call it. And he reiterated the fact that you need so much money to be able to make an impact.
Wait, hold on! It’s quick for you to say “Oh finance don’t matter. It’s the heart that matters”. But then, a lot of things do matter. Including finance. If the heart can’t generate finance, then what is the point? But that’s when passion; a driving passion, a fighting passion really matters.It is that type of passion that drives ideas and also takes you beyond the thresholds of those who will give a little of their power.
Another thought that crossed my mind was, “How do you give so much of yourself without losing your source of livelihood?”
That is a valid thought, especially when you live in an economy like that in Nigeria. But I will give you what an excuse for that is in a bit. If you take a look at my company’s website, one of our products is the NysReportCard, a project we haven’t launched yet. On that portion of the website, it writes “this is our contribution to creating a better educational system, starting with Nigeria”. We wanted a part of this software to be open source. And in the plan for the launch, we were planning to talk about how we thought it will help improve the educational system in Nigeria. But then, what if the software is hijacked with all the hours put into development? What if it the whole software doesn’t sell because a part of it is given out free? Watching the CNN Heroes Special edition, I was inspired especially by Narayanan Krishnan who quit his job at his hotel just so he could cater to the destitute, bathing them and feeding them. I believe that was a calculated risk which paid him at the end; and also profited humanity.
I have come to the true conclusion that if you are going to fight for the cause of creation made in God’s own image, it has to be full time.
It’s striking to know that people who dedicate their time and resources in unspeakable ways most likely have been beaten and bitten by situations that cause them to make a change. I know what it feels like not to have a dime in my pocket and have nowhere to turn. I know what it feels like to be rejected by a friend who you would die for, I know what it feels like not to wish, to yearn for things others have with a snap of the fingers. And that is why I am learning how to get pass each experience so I can teach others behind. This is why I can push friends who are too lazy to learn things that would push them many steps ahead. This is why I can be a shoulder to someone who fails, because I have failed before.
I look up to guys like Jimmy Wales who came up with the idea of the world’s most accessed ‘encyclopedia’ with the help of only one developer. I look up to Matt Mullenweg who founded WordPress and released it under the GPL licence. I look forward to putting my whole life into what I do so that I can reach out to those who can’t.
February 14th, this year’s St. Valentine’s day, I was honored to be a part of an initiative by Yewande Olofinro where she got street kids together to have fun. It was heart melting seeing hundreds of children, many who didn’t know eachother, come together to dance, to eat and play. I learned a lot from my experience with them which I promised to write about.
Many more people do remarkable things to make the world a better place for living. Some, not well thought through or made effective, but I am determined to make my life count by working harder, not for myself or for my family, but for those who wish they were/are like me; those who do not have the things I have.
What do you plan to do for this generation?