One of the reasons I’m glad that #GivingTuesday came to life this year is actually pretty selfish on my part.
For the last three months or so, I’ve been doing social media work for #GivingTuesday on InterAction’s behalf – Twitter, Facebook and Storify. And since November 1, I’ve been creating tweets for the blogs in the Huffington Post #GivingTuesday series that we’ve worked with our members to curate. I’ve read each of the posts from nearly 50 members and a dozen partners about hundreds of people who looked around them – at friends and neighbors or total strangers – and found a way to help someone else.
Keeping sight of the progress being made is one of my biggest challenges in doing humanitarian and development communications – I have to be hyperaware of the problems out there because I’m trying to raise awareness of them on a broader scale. #GivingTuesday has reminded me in a pretty big way that there are things all around us to be thankful for.
I’m thankful that even in the poorest countries, people are finding ways to quickly diagnose and treat cancers before they become deadly (a cause I’ve supported for years). I’m thankful for people who believe it’s never too late for someone to have a better future. I’m thankful for communities creating new traditions to replace unfair ones. I’m thankful for people who understand that sometimes, the most important thing you can do is listen. I’m thankful for people who make a career of helping others and still find ways to give outside of the job.
It’s so easy, in the work that we do, to forget the good stuff. So most of all, I’m thankful that I got a reminder of that this year.