Posts tagged ‘Red Cross’

August 18, 2014

10 days for a better world – 7, 8 & 9

Crossfit Bink 36 - AALO Kettlebell course level 1

Crossfit Bink 36 – AALO Kettlebell course level 1

Three days to write about. Three days in which I tried to do little things to better the world. Let’s start with the beginning: Friday. Last week I decided to attend a course to learn more about Kettle bell training and how to coach people through the basic exercises. The fact that I subscribed was a combination of missing going to school, feeling fatigued by work all week and my body screaming for some exercise challenge. It was convenient to be a day off and since the course only started at 11:30 I had a good part of the morning for myself; time to clean the house a bit more and to think of what I would do for these 10 days.

As I was cleaning already, I figured I might as well go through my clothes in my closet to see what I could give away. I always bring my “old” cloths to the Red Cross, so they can re-use them. Mostly I take something from my closet an put it aside. If it stays aside for half a year, I donate it. If I start using the item again, I put it back in my closet. Friday I decided to me a bit more determined. Since there are quite some clothes that I haven’t worn in ages, I figured I’d better just bring them away immediately. This resulted in me walking to the donation point around the corner (yes, that is very convenient indeed!) and throwing away a good set of shirts, skirts and dresses.

This ritual reminded me of how we can re-use items; not only clothes, but also furniture, cars, bikes, and so many other things. My mother always donates her old clothes to me and since we have almost the same size, the clothes she shrinks out of, fit me perfectly. On my turn, I bring all the clothes that I end up not wearing to the Red Cross collection point and make yet another person happy with a single buy.

On Saturday morning I left for my training again and since I had a friend over Friday night, I felt broken. My body did not get enough sleep and my muscles were still recovering from all the kettle bell swings. As usual I cycled the 30 kilometres to the Cross fit box, which took me about half an hour more than usual. Time enough to think of other things I could do to better the world. My mind was quite blank and I did not want to repeat anything I already did since I also aim to inspire others. I needed fresh ideas. The idea of doing something today kept hunting me all through the day and it wasn’t until that evening that an opportunity presented itself. I was at the cinema with a friend, to celebrate his birthday, when I needed a little toilet break. Naturally I walked in, did my things and as I was leaving the room, some girls came walking towards the toilet. All I did was holding the door for them. Not much special, but a little courtesy can bring the world a long way. Like I mentioned before, sometimes the smallest things can matter and for these girls it did. They smiled and thanked me.

Working @ Sportcity Gouda

Working @ Sportcity Gouda

On to Sunday: Now, at first I thought I did not do anything today. That is the miraculous thing about bettering the world. Some things (like holding a door as well) come so naturally that you hardly notice that you did something. In my first draft of this blog, I wrote that I actually only did two days during the last three days, but then I remembered that I took some time after work at the gym to talk to one of the gym members about becoming a fitness instructor. I took my study books with me and gave her some time to go over them. I had already set up for her to meet one of the teachers on Friday and yesterday I explained some basics of human physiology, myology and anatomy.

For me, sharing information and knowledge, sharing experiences and philosophies / insights on subjects, comes naturally. Therefore I hardly noticed that this as well counts as an act to better the world. We are creatures who can do great things as long as we work together and share what we know and what we can do with others. Working together is one of the most powerful tools we have and by doing so, impossible tasks become possible. In this case the task was far from impossible, but creating the habit of sharing and working together is just as valuable.

So there you have it. My weekend. I wish you all a fantastic start of the week!

August 15, 2014

10 days for a better world – day 6

Yesterday was an overwhelming day. After I published my blog about 10 days for a better world, I got a lot of reactions. Not just a few friends who read the blog and wanted to let me know what they thought, like usual, but a lot of friends and readers have been sending me messages the rest of the day, sharing stories and experiences. All those friends had one thing in common. They all have encountered psychical difficulties some time during their life, or are still struggling their own mind. You guys honestly made me cry. Your stories were so beautiful. I am so overwhelmed by the strength and beauty of all of you. I want to thank all of you for sharing your story!

Now, since I have been working pretty hard in between answering all those messages, I hardly had any chance to think about what to do yesterday. But as one of my friends rightfully pointed out in her message, you can even do something to better the world from home. And that is exactly what I did yesterday. I could have send a postcard to a random address in the phone book, or send an e-card to a friend who I haven’t seen for a while. I could have donated money via websites, or support a start-up or crowd funding campaign. I could’ve shared something on Social Media, to ask for your action for a cause. I did something else.

Urgent Action AppI am an active supporter of human rights and since I think it is important to protect human rights, I have the Urgent Action App of Amnesty International installed on my phone. One of the urgent actions is about Robert Yelemaken (16) and Oni Wea (21), who both got arrested and then molested for putting up graffiti for a free and independent Papua. Of course, randomly putting up graffiti can be seen as a crime, but there is never a reason to beat up someone with a rifle. Yesterday I sent an e-mai lto the Indonesian government to ask for the release of these students.

There are many causes that allow you to support them right from your living room. There are even organizations that are actively looking for internet supporters, like the Red Cross in The Netherlands. And there are plenty of petitions you can digitally sign in order to help lobbies for a better world gain more power against institutions that are violating rights or destroying our planet.

Now, last but not least, I want to thank you for sharing your actions and your ideas about these “10 days” with me. It inspires me a lot to read about your efforts and experiences. It helps me to find new ways of making the world a better place as well. So, please keep sending your story, via a private message or via a comment, or whatever way!