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11 am Thursday September 28, 2006
Over the last few days, while also working on our new, growing Global Survival Campaign, I’ve traded e-mails with a writer whose ideas for positive changes are an inspiration to me. He has plenty of value to offer, and I was excited that he seemed very interested in donating some of his writing for our website. Then today I got an e-mail asking to be paid instead. Here’s how I replied:
The Opportunities We Offer
I apologize if there was a miscommunication. I thought I made it very clear from the start that we’re an all-volunteer organization.
I’ve donated more than 11,000 hours in the last 10 years, also giving up what I feel sure was well over $1 million in personal income. I did this because of the value our work at Hearts & Minds: We’ve already helped more than 4.3 million people get to the root of pressing issues that I think you, too, care deeply about.*
*If you’ve got a better way than our Global Survival Campaign to benefit people locally, nationwide and globally, please let me know about it and I’ll consider volunteering with you on that instead. 🙂
I don’t expect most people to make my kind of sacrifice, and that’s understandable. I think many feel overwhelmed by the daily stresses of life in our culture and by the growing threats to our future…
But that’s an important part of Hearts & Minds’ message: Even a little of your time can make a very big difference. Here at Hearts & Minds, we do the work to create these opportunities for others. And any help you may offer is much appreciated here.
As I suggested, I think you could readily extract 500 words from what you’ve already written. Besides helping many people, you would also get free exposure for your work, ideas, books and art. Elsewhere, people often pay for this kind of favorable media exposure, even without any chance to make a difference in the world.
Thanks for your interest,
Did I respond well? Let me know what you think: Contact Us.
When I compare how much I’ve sacrificed to how little many others seem to care, it would be easy to get frustrated and angry. But I remember how it took years for me to get to where I’m at. Also, changing the world doesn’t require everyone to give up their jobs or even suffer in any way.
Even a little of your effort really can make a very big difference. But hopefully you’ll also see that the more you do, the greater your own sense of fulfillment can be.
1 pm, September 28, 2006
Latest development, the writer gave us permission to use excerpts from his writing, also saying I’m a good person to donate so much of my time. To this I answered:
Thanks for the compliment. I hope it’s clear that I shared specifics on my commitment not to show I’m better than anyone, just to show how strongly I believe in the importance of our work. I think your writing is also a very valuable contribution and that’s why I want to see it publicized more widely.
Thanks for the OK to use excerpts. You would get credit and a link to your site. Would we have all the permissions in the brief Copyright Agreement I sent you? Our volunteer lawyers advise us that this is necessary to prevent any future misunderstandings.
Btw, I’d be interested to meet you in person. Where are you? (I’m in NYC).