4 Ways You Can Get Involved In Social Good
Can you imagine living in a world where everyone is assured a healthy life and a world where well-being is a right? While standing in the drugstore’s line today waiting to get my typhoid shot for travel, I snapped this photo. It reminded me that many people in the world do not have this option of being immunized.
In the First World, we who have insurance often take this status for granted even though we know that many people around us live without insurance. Most troubling is our assumption that the way we frame the issues of health, in terms of preventative care, is the way to approach the topic on a global scale. This quite possibly prompted the conveners of the United Nations’ Goals for Sustainable Development by 2030 to decide that good health and well being is a right for EVERYONE. For that reason, 193 countries seek to create a world where this status will be a given and have agreed to work on making this a reality. Implementing these goals, however will be our job and it requires that as global citizens, we know what needs to be done so as to eliminate all excuses for getting this work done.
Every year when the Social Good Conference comes around at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, I feel refreshed and hopeful about the world I live in and my place on the globe. I get all energized by the conviction and hard work of ordinary people who work to make change in the world and come to the Social Good Conference to share. But every year I ask myself whether I am doing my part.
I was watching Kate Winslet talk to Ellen (no last name needed) a few days ago on television. In that conversation Kate Winslet said that each year she tells herself she is going to learn to speak French and learn to garden. Then, according to Kate, the year comes and goes and these two things do not happen. That’s how I feel about doing more to change the world in my own tiny way.
I am so focused on achievement in my business life, fulfilling my dreams, that I haven’t make the kind of personal contribution to Social Good that I dream of making. And I wonder, might the intersection of social good and my desire to dream myself awake not be mutually exclusive. I am therefore reexamining the 17 global goals and focusing on #3 which is of interest to me.
Here is Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages:
- Reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births
- End preventable deaths of newborns and children under five years old
- End the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases, and other communicable diseases
- Reduce by one-third pre-mature mortality from non-communicable diseases
- Strengthen prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol
- By 2020 halve global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents
- Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes
A Washington Post article reported, “The United States has a higher infant mortality rate than any of the other 27 wealthy countries, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control. A baby born in the U.S. is nearly three times as likely to die during her first year of life as one born in Finland or Japan. That same American baby is about twice as likely to die in her first year as a Spanish or Korean one.” So while the assumption may be that poverty is South World problem, the statistics for road traffic accidents in the world, and the spread of borderless epidemics suggest these are global problems. And they demonstrate I do not need to travel to be helpful. There are problems right where I live.
The United Nations wants to rid the world of poverty, provide an equal education for boys and girls and provide the environment for generations to come. On these UN global goals we can all agree philosophically and look for ways to do something concrete. I can take my head out of the sand and find ways to make a difference. I just need to educate myself on the 17 global goals and make a commitment. Here are 4 ways you (and I ) can get involved with Social Good.
1) Choose a goal from among the 17. Set up an alert on this global goal and stay abreast of this issue.
2) Begin to see yourself as a global citizen who can use their power to make a difference.
3) Join the community of like minded people to share stories and outline productive actions that make a difference in your community.
4) Tell everyone. Don’t make excuses.