For Mother's Day: Sometimes Giving Really is That Easy

Making a difference is hard

The past several days have been driving this home for me — as I find myself up at all hours writing grant proposals only to get calls from aggravated secretaries the next week informing me that there are still pieces that are incomplete — as some of the most well-known philanthropists are being torn down for fabricating their memoir — as I have to turn down requests to do more work in the community, not because I lack the caring or the will, but because I lack the energy to go through all the new bureaucratic hurdles my institution has put up before I can do community service without getting into trouble.

Through all this, I’ve simply been tired, and wondered whether my classmates that opted to do as little as possible outside of studying and research had the right idea all along. What is the point of doing community service when I am also a student going into a profession that, after all, does worthwhile work?

The point is sometimes you need to do work that gives you hope. That makes you feel empowered. That reminds you of why you’re here. And that allows you to make a difference in the lives of those that need it. Doing good may be hard work, but when there are so many that are doing great work out there that need our support, sometimes making a difference can be simple, when we reach out a hand to help them out.

That is why I am supporting the To Mama With Love campaign for Suraya Pakzad.Suraya is an outspoken advocate for women in Afghanistan, the founder and director of an organization that runs women’s shelters to protect and support women fleeing violent homes or forced marriages. She does this all despite the threats from the strong conservative presence in her part of Afghanistan and with the greatest intelligence, elegance and integrity.

This Mother’s Day, one of the women that I respect more than anyone, my yoga teacher and former UN peacekeeper Marianne Elliott, asked for my help along with two other women to support Suraya through the To Mama With Love campaign. Marianne had worked with Suraya when she was in Afghanistan and knew that her work was being done well in some of the areas where it was most needed. I was drawn to the campaign from the start, not just because Suraya and Marianne are both incredible women, but also because it was an opportunity to share love for moms across the globe — to celebrate love and giving without the sense of pity and obligation and bureaucratic nonsense that typically goes into such gifts. Because at To Mama With Love, it’s about giving in honor of and for extraordinary women. Sometimes, giving and making a difference really is that simple.

So, this Mother’s Day, I’ve created a heartspace for my own mother on this wonderful collaborative lovefest for change. Please join me in [supporting Suraya]( a87ff679a2f3e71d9181a67b754212 2c) or the other women in the project in honor of the women who have made a difference in your own life.