Diverse Contributions

In watching all of the fundraising going on in Vancouver the last while, especially those focused around Stanley Park’s restoration, I was reminded of a particular passage from a sci-fi novel that I had read a long time ago, The Man Who Never Missed.

"—see the way the fish swim through that funnel, Emile? It’s plenty big enough to pass through, but once they’re on the other side, they never can seem to find the narrow exit to get back out."

The boy nodded at his father and watched the fifty kilo grouper swim around inside the trap. There were five or six of the big blue-gray fish flippering back and forth. "They’re stupid," he said. "The hole in the middle is the same on both sides."

Hamay Khadaji looked down at his ten-year old son, then back through the glass walls of the observation tank. "No, son, they aren’t stupid, no more than any other fish. It’s the way they look at things. It has to do with the space around them, with the way their eyes and minds work. Just because somebody or something doesn’t look at the world the way you do doesn’t mean it’s stupid. It’s just different—"

Now obviously this passage above is about diversity and the need to respect it. Why I think it’s important in regards to fundraising and donations is that often people see things only from their perspective. For example, one person may be very conscious about the global situation and donate money to causes around it, as well as recycle wherever they can, whereas another person may think it’s out of their hands and would rather not think about it. Does that make one person better than the other?

Now what if I told you that the person who didn’t care about the climate had a family member who passed away due to cancer and donated substantial sums of money to organizations that do cancer research? Again is one person better than the other? No, I don’t think so. They’re just different or diverse but both are actually helping the world in a way that is the most meaningful to them.