Sometimes when we see the harsh realities of the world, we can feel guilty, ashamed, and powerless to do anything. That’s how I felt standing in a dump in Cambodia, watching adults and children picking through a trash heap.
I wanted to do something to help, but what could I do? I was just one man, researching my first book, traveling on my second mortgage. I hadn’t done anything wrong, but I hadn’t done anything and that felt wrong.
This feeling of helplessness is what I’m taking on in my new book adventure…
Where Am I Giving? A Global Adventure Exploring How to Use Your Time, Money, and Energy to Make a Better World will explore this distance between the hopelessness of guilt and the amazing opportunity each of us has to make the most difference we can through our careers, time, consumer dollars, and donations.
In my previous books Where Am I Wearing? and Where Am I Eating?, I’ve raised awareness about the realities of the global garment and agriculture industries while exploring topics such as extreme poverty, slavery, and child labor. And while I’ve proposed solutions of how we can address these issues as consumers, we are not going to consume our way to a better world. We need to be producers, producing positive impacts that spread opportunities; we need to be educated global and local citizens, donors, and volunteers.
We were born into relative prosperity and a wealth of opportunity. When faced with global and local poverty statistics and realities, it can be easy to feel guilt.
Where Am I Giving? isn’t about how to absolve ourselves of First World Guilt. It is a book about helping readers recognize their own privilege and the amazing opportunity each of us has to impact the lives of people in our own communities and around the world.
Thanks to my agent JL Stermer at New Leaf Literary for helping shape this project idea and to Richard Narramore, my editor at Wiley, for once again supporting my big ideas and curiosity.
I can’t wait to go on this trip and take all of you along with me. I leave Thursday on a one-way ticket to Myanmar. (I have every intention of returning, it’s just I hate to commit to a set travel itinerary.)
The road calls.