My two boys emailed their Christmas wish list to us recently. It’s an extravagant list of “essentials” and our boys are always lucky when it comes to the festive season, but this year, with so many struggling to even eat, it feels different. It feels wrong.
I’ve sat them down many times to discuss the importance of not buying stuff for the sake of it, to take better care of the planet, and that “stuff” will never truly make them happy. But they are still young, and neither their dad or I will take away simple pleasures from them, while continuing to speak with them to help them understand the importance of creating more balance in the world. And of being more charitable in all they do too.
As adults, we can take a different path and I’m happy we’re doing zero gifts for Christmas in 2020. Instead, the money we’d typically spend on each other is going to the World Food Program. It’s the least we could do, because here in Phuket, Thailand, the impact of Covid19 is happening to our neighbours. We see it every day. It’s not over there. Here and all over the world, people do not have enough to eat and until this pandemic is over, it is not going to change.
Our Phuket community came together beautifully this year and there is a lot of amazing work being done to help everyone in need. I feel so privileged to be part of this community. Generous and caring all.
As an example, at the boys’ school, we have a Giving Tree. The children from a migrant school left a star with their name, age and the gift they want, and it was things like a dress for a 10 year old girl, or a pair of soccer boots for a nine year old boy. The simplicity of their requests really touched my heart.
The school, UWC Thailand, is also doing an alternative advent calendar. On each day, it has things like
- 2 litres of cooking oil
- 6 bars of soap
- 4 toothbrushes
- 2kg of flour
- 5kgs of rice
- 2kg of sugar
- 4 packs of sanitary napkins
- And on it goes
I filled a shopping cart with this stuff today, and I’m still only half way through because I couldn’t manage a second cart! More than that, I want to buy the rest from a local shop to help their business too. The supermarkets have done very well in 2020, just like Amazon.
But all over the world, basic necessities are what people need right now. It’s also not a short term problem. We have a long term challenge to face, with the World Food Program sounding the alarm about the hunger pandemic coming our way. Some recent articles on it.
World could face ‘hunger pandemic’ in 2021, World Food Program warns
Nobel UN food agency warns 2021 will be worse than 2020
WFP warns of famines of biblical proportions in 2021, urges quick steps to stop spread of hunger
If your family is in a position to do it, could you make donations – locally or to global charities – to help out? However, we’re not going to make it through with one-offs, so could you set up a monthly charity contribution and regularly donate until this is over? Ten percent of your income? More?
And if you know anyone in the super rich ranks, maybe have a word with them? With reports that less than 10% in this bracket are regularly donating before the pandemic – not just now – I’d suggest regular 10% donations from the super rich would make a HUGE difference. Let’s come together and overcome together.
If you can spare some money, please donate where it makes sense to you, or to the UN Refugee Program and World Food Program. There is also PowerOf which is worth checking out. Another organization I adore is Kiva.org. You can really empower people through Kiva.
40 million Modern Day Slaves. 71% are Women. 1 in 4 are Children – from my friend Nishan Weerasinghe. Download the app and let’s help solve this challenge together!!
Content to read
And here’s the content I’ve been reading this last week. Scan the headlines, read the ones that jump out at you, read or watch them all. Knowledge is power, and global knowledge is even more powerful.
Climate Crisis / 6th Mass Extinction
Climate risk and response in Asia tks Susanna Hasenoehrl – download the report
Mexico Bans Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide
Arctic Oil Spill: Nornickel Failures, Tank Flaws Caused Catastrophe – Report
‘Our right to fire’: Tribes battle agencies, old policies to restore fire practices
‘Unjustifiable’: new report shows how the nation’s gas expansion puts Australians in harm’s way
More Women in Boardrooms Mean Better Climate Policy, BNEF Says
Stubble burning: Why it continues to smother north India
Shipping Industry and Asian Nations Object to EU Pollution Plan tks Susanna Hasenoehrl
Secondhand no longer second-best for UK’s ‘circular economy’ consumers
Polar scientists wary of impending satellite gap
Sydney records hottest November night on record
Swedish experience with swine flu vaccine sparks fears as WHO warns of ‘infodemic’
NIH Director Tells Churches To Do The “Altruistic, Loving Thing” And Stay Closed
Doctors say CDC should warn people the side effects from Covid vaccine shots won’t be ‘a walk in the park’ tks Helen Jackie
Covid-19: UK surpasses 60,000 deaths
Covid-19 Superspreader Wedding In Washington State Linked To 7 Deaths Of People Who Didn’t Even Attend
Singapore’s Red Ants are here to remind (and occasionally shame) you about mask-wearing
Among First Acts, Biden to Call for 100 Days of Mask-Wearing
Biden Asks Fauci To Serve As ‘Chief Medical Advisor’ During Covid Crisis
Couple arrested for knowingly boarding flight while COVID-19 positive tks Bob Hooey
Obama, Bush And Clinton Will Get On-Camera Covid-19 Vaccine To Boost Public Confidence As Trump Remains Silent
Cyberattacks Discovered on Vaccine Distribution Operations
US biotech firm Moderna wants to bring Covid-19 vaccine to S’pore as early as Dec. 2020 tks Priscilla Joseph
Covid-19: Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine judged safe for use in UK
Sweden’s anti-lockdown experiment flopped. Now it faces a wave of pandemic pain. tks David Lim
1 In Every 800 North Dakota Residents Now Dead From Covid
International students land in Australia for first time since coronavirus shuttered borders
Covid: Fauci warns of ‘surge in cases’ post Thanksgiving
They’re Fine With It tks Joyce Ano
UK, EU call in leaders to save trade talks
An anti-gay Hungarian politician has resigned after being caught by the police fleeing a 25-man orgy through a window
Thailand’s youth rebellion: Protest movement demands monarchy reform
PM and treasurer bill taxpayers for private jet to Lachlan Murdoch’s Christmas party tks Shaun McEwan
Trump news: Wisconsin and Arizona last battlegrounds to certify results confirming Biden victory
Twitter Confirms Trump Could Be Banned After Inauguration Day For Repeated Violations
2,596 Trades in One Term: Inside Senator Perdue’s Stock Portfolio
Why Donald Trump keeps outperforming the polls
Bill Barr bashed in right-wing media after election fraud comments: ‘He is either a liar or a fool or both’ tks Frank Roberts
Trump inciting violence, warns Georgia election official
Presidential Transition Highlights: Justice Dept. Has No Evidence of Fraud That Would Undo Biden’s Win, Barr Says
New records show Trump’s DOJ rushed a no-bid contract for lethal injection drugs
Biden announces all-female White House communications team tks Glenn Van Zutphen
Covid: Dr Scott Atlas – Trump’s controversial coronavirus adviser – resigns
Fox News Is No Longer Insane Enough for Fox Viewers
Australia demands China apologise for posting ‘repugnant’ fake image
The Rotting of The Republican Mind
The King of Trump TV Thinks You’re Dumb Enough to Buy It
Trump supporter who gave $2.5m to fight election fraud wants money back
Top Georgia Republican RIPS Trump’s disinformation campaign ON FOX NEWS
Business and Technology
He Asked His Team How to Avoid Layoffs. Their Response Thrilled Him tks Cheryl Liew
One of biology’s biggest mysteries ‘largely solved’ by AI
Changing mindsets and behavior, one “nudge” at a time
School’s out (of the classroom) forever: The very best global schools
Timnit Gebru: Google staff rally behind fired AI researcher
Tony Hsieh, retired CEO of online shoe retailer Zappos, dies at 46 after house fire
The Upside of Your Public Speaking Jitters
Social issues (#BlackLivesMatter) and humanity
Tony Hsieh’s American Tragedy: The Self-Destructive Last Months Of The Zappos Visionary tks Tim Wade
Laws Against ‘Love Jihad’ Are Yet Another Serious Attack on India’s Once Secular Democracy
China #MeToo: Court to hear landmark case of intern versus TV star
What is Your Moment of Truth in 2020 and Beyond?
Children know what makes a leader more than some adults tks David Lim
US House passes historic bill to legalize marijuana at federal level, but Senate looms
Passion, humour, history
A Cat Is Said to Be Joining the Bidens in the White House tks Joyce Ano
New hypothesis argues the universe simulates itself into existence
Wild summer weather the perfect condition for one of the world’s deadliest creatures tks Nicole Lockhart
Let me know if anything jumped out at you?
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