This might come as a surprise to you, but the majority of people you will meet in life will be good people. And a sizeable portion of these will want to do good things.
But, unfortunately, you will find that a lot of good people will only wish that they could do the good things they want to do. Factors, problems, restrictions – whatever you call it, I call it excuses – get in the way of these good people doing the good they want to do. And when they do, unfortunately, it’s in a very local sense. I call it the ‘plant a tree philosophy’. A lot of people feel that by planting a tree they will fix the problem of climate change – sadly, no, that is not the case. Not only because it’s not enough but also because we need good people to do good things on a larger scale – because that’s how the ‘bad’ people in the world operate. A power hungry dictator doesn’t kill one or two people. A money hungry stock broker doesn’t scam a few thousand dollars from a handful of people. A media tycoon doesn’t use mild propaganda on a small group of people. No, for some reason the bad in this world seems to happen at a very large scale whereas the good only on a miniscule, personal level.
I don’t believe in fate/destiny/serendipity – I believe we decide our own future – but sometimes, just sometimes, even I doubt that. I met Alana and Mark (pictured below) through pure chance. When I emailed Mark about the Workaway position he had advertised, I wasn’t even sure where Chiang Mai was. We met, we talked and soon the three of us realised we had many similar ideas and wanted to achieve the same end goal – a fairer and more transparent system of buying and selling in the context of modern economics.
What immediately struck me about Alana and Mark was their willingness to act. They were working well payed jobs in California. They, like many others, could have made the occasional donation to their charity of choice to assuage themselves of first-world guilt and in essence, ‘plant a tree’. But instead, they gave up their jobs, left their home (and their beloved pug McLovin) behind and moved to the other side of the world to pursue their dream of making a lasting and very real impact in a process they saw as severely unfair and a system that was crying out for a new approach. They knew that buying Fair Trade – although a good start – wasn’t enough. Something disruptive had to be done. And that’s how the wheels of Trade Monkey were set into motion.
Two people, who’ve had a very positive impact on me in the short time I’ve known them. Two people who are doers, not just dreamers. I am lucky to count them as friends.
If you’re interested in learning more about Trade Monkey, read our blog, check out our website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Instagram – look at that, we got rid of the excuses for you! 🙂
This picture is #10 in my #365k photo series