Have you ever been to a lopsided basketball game when the refs were calling umpteen fouls on one team and none on the other? What do people yell at the refs? “Call it both ways, ref!” We want life to be fair, right?
Did you know research proves we have a natural desire for life to be fair? Scientists conducted an experiment where they placed two strangers in a room and gave them money. For example, if they gave one person $50 but the other person only $25, the person who was offered the $25 wouldn’t take it. Why? They weren’t being treated fairly. The scientists tried several versions of this and the results ended up being the same; we have an innate desire for fairness.
This is the reason I’m in Africa; to do my part in making life fair for others. As the old saying goes, “To whom much is given; much is required.” I’ve been given a lot and it is within me, and you, to make life fair for others. It’s who we are and, frankly, I believe we are the most happy when we put our energy into making life fair for others. I was born in America and have access to pure water, healthy food, medical care and education; I want to share that with others who do not have it.
The first time I stepped outside of America and stumbled into abject poverty and hunger in a village in Nicaragua, the unfairness of life ran over me like a freight train runs over a person tied to the tracks. I experienced emotions I had never experienced before and the most prominent one was connected to how unfair it was that I was born in the land of luxury and much of the world lives with dirt floors and dirty water.
Warren Buffet calls it the “ovarian lottery,” and readily admits if he had been poor in an impoverished village in a developing country, he would not be billionaire.
When that little five-year-old Nicaraguan girl crawled up into my arms many years ago and asked me to feed her, I’ve been doing what I can to get as many people as I can engaged in this fight to make life fair. It’s not fair we have so much food that we waste it and I met children, again, this week in Africa that have nothing to eat.
I am in Africa because of two people who decided to do what they could to make life fair for others; Floyd and Kathy Hammer, founders of The Outreach Program.
I’m here to capture photos, videos and stories of children and families who, for the first time in their lives, will have an opportunity for life to be fair.
I often think of advice Mother Teresa gave my friend, Ambassador Tony Hall; “Do what’s in front of you to do.”
No, life isn’t fair, but it is fundamentally wired in our DNA to help make life fair for others.
So, on this trip, I will see the incredible successes of a decade and a half of Floyd and Kathy making life fair for others. I will see pure water coming out of faucets, hungry children eating nutritious meals, more than 2,000 kids studying hard to break the cycle of poverty and hunger, mothers in remote villages getting medicine for their babies, young school girls having a safe place to live during the week while they go to secondary school and listen to stories of children-turned-adults who will give Floyd and Kathy the credit for lifting them out of poverty and hunger.
Every time I look through my camera and each story I hear, I’m reminded of the prophet Micah’s’ statement: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice (make life fair for others), and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Micah had the same idea; Life ain’t fair, but let’s do what we can to make it fair for others.