It was one of the more confronting moments of my life when I realised I’ve got the same 24-hours every day as the Prime Minister, the President of America, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Marie Curie, and, well, Mr Jones next door. The crushing realisation that I get the same amount of time as everybody else was awful. Here are all these people literally changing the world while I was just…working for the man?
Thankfully, I’ve moved on, but not before hours of conversations with anyone within earshot about how grinding traditional full time work was, how pointless it felt being another ‘cog in the wheel’, how frustrating it was not being the change!
I dreamt of throwing it all in and moving to India to find myself, then starting a charity helping poor children, or something. I dreamt up businesses to promote earth-loving sustainable business models. I spent hours reading up on ethics and became vegetarian and even went volunteering overseas for a year taking a massive pay cut. Yep, I did it all.
And yet here I am once again in the 9-5 ‘grind’. Only this time, I feel the grind is working for me. This transformation was in a large part thanks to Peter Singer’s book The Life You Can Save. Here was an ethicist giving me a calculation for how much I can help improve our world. In fact, I could do so much, I could save a life. And all with just one per cent.
It seemed too good to be true. Could I really keep a steady paying job and be part of the world’s solutions? Of course, of course, of course!
With so many social enterprises, charities, crowd funding platforms, progressive aid and development organisations, human rights groups, innovators, social hubs, and communities being established around the world, it has never been easier to be part of the change you want to see.