I first got onto Marianne Elliott when I did her 30 Days of Yoga course which was great. It did help me to develop a regular yoga practice but another big benefit of the connection was tapping into her articles, reading and thoughtfulness particularly in the areas of development, compassion and the need for kindness.
I will declare from the outset that I was a tad cynical about Marianne given her background in the UN. Experiences in Nepal made me somewhat sceptical about large aid organisations. I refer in particular here to large aid organisations where huge amounts of money seems to be spent of 4WD, city dwelling office workers, logos, flak jackets worn by workers at domestic airports where the rest of us are in normal clobber etc. I ain’t naming names. Anyway, for a while, Marianne worked for the UN and I read her book Zen and the Art of Peacekeeping with interest.
I really enjoyed it and learnt a lot. I am still sceptical about some things but more open to the possibility that within these large organisations, many courageous, generous, thoughtful people are trying to make a difference. I could say more but am trying to work within a time limit so won’t but there’s hours of reading about this!
Marianne writes: We’re all capable of great things when we find our own authentic and unique place in the world. We all have a role to play in bringing about a kinder, safer world. I created this site to help you discover what great things you are capable of, to uncover your unique role as a change-maker, and to make sure you have what you need to stay well do those things.
I always enjoy her posts – she is less over the top and hyped than other sites about similar issues which I sometimes find sort of over packaged and more about marketing than content. By subscribing to her newsletter, I receive her monthly (sort of!) list of what she has been learning, reading, writing – always a source of interesting links. She got me onto a site called Why Dev and Beyond Good Intentions – both thought provoking analyses of various aid activities.
This was one of the first I read and I think it is just terrific. So many excellent questions, great links and compassionately written. I wish, wish, wish more people would read this link from it!!! She asks more interesting questions about aid here and has 10 questions to ask before you start a non profit organisation.
In this post her thoughts about the balance between self care, community and sacrifice really made sense to me. As did this one about taking a leap of faith even when you think you are not up to the task
Another one I enjoyed was What the world needs from you.
That’s enough for today…fewer words and more images tomorrow.