One of the factors I think we are all prone to forgetting - both for ourselves and in trying to aid others - is that what you have
matters more than what you lack
I was reminded of this once again by Ethan Zuckerman
’s post ‘Innovating from constraint
‘ (quoted in the Design in Africa
blog). Zuckerman states:
"If you’ve got a bicycle, consider what you can build based on that, rather than worrying about not having a car, a truck, a metal shop."
The reason this concept is so useful is that it is one which all of us
can start turning into a habitual response right now in our daily
lives. It's a principle which would encourage the reduction of unnecessary consumption in affluent regions, and promote innovation & ingenuity in areas with limited resources.
As another example, these can either be empty hands, or they can be tools with which to build, nurture, write - and so much more.
My plan to action this principle in my own life is to consider one thing each day which I have
, and to try and put one of those things into use each week.
When I want to achieve something, I will stop and think about it. Before leaping to the assumption that I will need new resources to achieve the goal, I'll a****s whether I can actually make it work with things I already have access to.
If I can build this into my own everyday life, when the time comes for me to assist others it will be my default reaction. I will not bemoan the things which are lacking, I will champion the resources which are available, and ensure they are put to their best use.