Posted on December 11, 2010


Padma Venkatarama, India

2015 is the year for the Millennium Goals. It’s the year we’re supposed to accomplish them. Eight goals determined to reverse the destructive course of our planet. They are lofty. They are intimidating. Reduce child mortality by two-thirds. Universal primary education. Promote gender equality and empower women.

We don’t just set the bar high to promote our best efforts, then look back on a bettered world and proclaim ourselves successful no matter what happens. Goals are meant to be accomplished. Impossible goals transform people who believe in them.

So pick one.

I pick “Cut extreme poverty and hunger in half.” No one person, or one organization, will accomplish even one of those goals globally. All of us working on one part of the world on one of those goals, will.  I may only reduce extreme poverty and hunger by half in one small town in America. That will be one fewer small towns in the world where people are hungry or poor.

It’s intimidating to dive in, however. Divided, we’re conquered, and we stand at the sides and wring our hands. There are people who have dived in, however, and we can work with them. Together we have a chance at making a difference. Padma Venkatarama had a plan to help girls in India receive primary education, even if they lived in leper colonies. But she needed help. Becky Douglas had a burning desire to help girls in India receive primary education, but she needed a plan. Together they are Rising Star Outreach, and they’re making a difference.

Too often we pull in many directions and nothing is accomplished. Too often we question the motives of those who structure an effort, or we’re unwilling to help someone else’s cause, or we’re intimidated by the scope of need. Too often we count the personal cost and fail to see any dividend, for us or those who suffer. Too often we do nothing, when we have something we could do.

Now is the time to consider picking. Now is the time to reach deep within and choose the front on which we will work to better the world. There is not an endless supply of time. We have more resources than we think. There are others with whom we can link arms. When we pick, they will appear. It’s an act of faith.

There is power in feeling the call of the impossible and embracing the possibility of a miracle. We can do all we do for our homes and our families, and one more thing for the world.  Impossible goals transform those who believe in them. We are more than we have become.

2015 is not just an arbitrary date. 2015 is the year for the Millennium Goals. It’s the year we accomplish them.

So pick one.

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