You can do

By taking out time for surfing across this action guide, you are expressing your concern for the planet and her people. No longer can we apologize, saying, "I am too busy to be concerned, someone else can take care of it." Because that someone is none other than you.

 

Circumstances changed. Attitude hasn't!

Look at today's newspaper. Watch TV news. Chances are you will see millions of children forced to child soldiery and labor who have never seen a school, a teacher or a book; billions of people without access to safe drinking water dying of waterborne diseases; population boom beyond the planet's carrying capacity, geometric increase of aids epidemic; social instability due to water scarcities; mass deforestation; women mistreated by their spouses; and overgrowing 60+ population.

Despite the world boasts of irreparable progress during the second half of the last millennium, human sufferings remained the same as during the stone age or even worse!

During the 1893 Chicago World Fair, a group of sociologists predicted what the world would look like in another 100 years by 1993. They presumed that human longevity would be 150, the governments would be simple, prisons and dungeons would be unnecessary as peace prevailed all over earth, and dictionaries omit the word 'divorce'.

All predictions proved to be wrong!

The world has seen two major wars during the period. People are living shorter due to pollution everywhere. Governments seem to be an expanding business, and prefer owning more complications. Prisonmates are ever increasing due to growing violence and ethnic intolerance, so do the prisons at official and unofficial levels. Social adaptation has declined as evident from the burgeoning divorce cases. Billions of people have no access to safe water and sanitation. Health care is still a distant dream for majority. Senior citizens are cornered as unwanted oldies. Exploitation of children are increasing for child soldiery, labor and sex. Gender bias is still prevalent, leading to violence against women. And the list continues...

The world circumstances changed, but human attitude hasn't. It's pity!

This reminds me a statement made by management guru Peter Drucker who rightly stated, "Material changes in our lives are almost irrelevant. The important changes are demographic, in health care and education. The real change is in meaning, not in goods."

Silent emergencies, worldwide

Water problem, increasing cost of education, unplanned population, rise of violent ethno-regionalism leading to major civil wars, child soldiery and labor, ignorance of senior citizens, gender bias etc.. are global silent emergencies which have inspired conferences, writings and analyses rather than action in the international arena. These issues do not deserve sympathy alone, but direct action at the grassroots, and that lies at your fingertips.

There comes in this call, Movement Millennium from Global Initiatives for Sustainable Development and Humanitarian Action (GI). The holistic campaign from the Third Pole for the Third World on the eve of the Third Millennium aims at bringing about revolutions in the following sectors:

• Blue Revolution (for enhancing water quality and productivity)

• White Revolution (for promotion of universal peace, literacy and numeracy)

• Green Revolution (for nature and culture- friendly development)

• Pink Revolution (for improvisation of health of the people and planet)

Most outstandingly, Movement Millennium is inspired by the determination as enshrined in the UN Charter, We, the Peoples "to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, and for these ends to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors."

Since the word millennium, according to the Oxford dictionary, figuratively signifies future time of greater joy and happiness besides bearing a literal meaning of a period of 1000 years, movement millennium holds the spirit of its promoter, Global Initiatives (GI) which is a conscious, collective, and organized universal movement, toiling for the elevation of human, environmental, economic, emotional and spiritual health.

After its official launch worldwide, slated for September 23, 1999-exactly 100 days prior to the commencement of the 3rd Millennium on January 1, 2000, the global movement, with the support of its partners worldwide like your goodself, aims to attain one million mark in all seven sectors below at the earliest, possibly within the first 100 days, or beyond, and a billion by 2010:

Organ donations after death (eyes, kidneys, heart, liver and pancreas)

Safe drinking water maintenance through household disinfection and household water conservation techniques including rainwater harvest

Tree plantation and adoption at a rate of 10,000 saplings a day in the neighborhood

Literacy and numeracy initiatives by every high school/college graduate and educated, but unemployed, youth in the neighborhood

Population planning (not only control) and AIDS education propagation

Promotion of peace with emphasis on juvenile violence, soldiery and forced labor as well as violence against women on the basis of the principles of nonviolence and vegetarianism

• Sharing the world's joys with senior citizens in a bid to revitalize the sentiments of the International Year of Older Persons beyond 1999.

During a handicraft expo two years back, I came across an accomplished sculptor who was applying finishing touches to a life-sized bronze sculpture. He was filing, scraping and polishing every little surface of the masterpiece which seemed quite perfect. "When will it be complete?" I asked. "Never," replied the artist, "I just keep working and working until someone comes and takes it away."

Much of the same could be said of the Movement Millennium. Unlike other much-hyped, but least fruitful, initiatives which has been dedicated to specific issues yearwise, our Movement won't fade away beyond the year 2000. Movement Millennium is a continuous process and an endless journey just like the artist's masterpiece.

Ambitious. Not impossible

In a world, infected by the bug of instant culture where everything is expected instantly from noodles to nirvana, the goals of Movement Millennium seem quite ambitious, but not impossible when you are around. This is my conviction because I don't dream, but I imagineer (imagine+engineer).

Nothing to hurry. It took me years to compile this set of ideas. Of course, it may require decades, not days, to operationalize them. Patience is the key.

During my childhood, my mother used to say, "Haste is waste," while recalling the following story:

An impatient student approached the principal of the school to undergo an intensive course. The principal nodded his idea of acceleration. However, he said, "It all depends on what you want to be. When God wants to make an oak, he takes a hundred years. But in case of a squash, he takes only 6 months."

Moral of the story is frustration amalgamated with disappointment overpower many of us sometimes, but we shall overcome all hurdles if we've faith on ourselves.

Giving is a selfless action

Once a bachelor farmer wished a wife. So he advertised in a newspaper that read, "A man of 30 wants a woman around 25 with tractor. Send photograph of the tractor."

Yes. The world is growing more selfish.

Why to give to a selfish world? Why do we need selfless action? Questions like these arises in everyone's mind time and again.

Love, equality and freedom cherish solidarity and a culture of giving. Love delights giving which is just like a toothpaste that follows the principle of one-way traffic.

And, the Movement Millennium is inspired by love, equality and freedom. Thus, solidarity and giving are the driving factors of the Movement.

People tend to have inordinate desires of popularity, fame, admiration and appreciation, at the cost of the planet's finite resources. The equation is, in other words, called economics. Or, economics itself is a study of human desires.

The other day, one of the dedicated GI volunteers visited me at my New Road office. Sitting comfortably against sofa lying just opposite my table and taking a sip of hot tea, he complained, "Sichendra, why are you investing so much money and effort? Here, nobody recognizes whatever good you do. It's a thankless society. You better leave for America."

Instead of replying his query, I counter-questioned," Bimal dai (brother), if someone comes to you now to ask where the New Road gate was what would you do? Certainly, you would direct the inquirer to go straight, turn right to the monument of Juddha Shumshere and continue some 300 meters ahead to reach the big gate across the main lane."

"Of course, why not?" He emphatically said.

"Then, do you expect the inquirer to come back to you here again to express gratitude for your help?" I asked.

He replied negatively.

"The same applies to me." I concluded and he smiled.

The same applies to the Movement Millennium, too. Meaning, the entire GI initiatives including Movement Millennium are neither meant for appreciation, admiration nor awards, but to prompt direct and unselfish action at everyone's end.

Thus, we could address the silent emergencies worldwide which pose spiraling effects on the overall human progress. Any of your efforts, whatsoever in form and size, is invaluable and honorable to the Movement.

You can't harvest rice by planting thorns

Many among the 16 thousand GI volunteers come or write to me with a similar evasive complaint, "I sympathize with the cause that you're toiling for. I also love to do something. But I am terribly busy with my business. I don't have time for myself and my family. And, to run any project, I need money. I have no adequate money, nor I have enough time tofundraise from others. Guide me the way."

True. But when I explain them how the issues that we've been raising could affect him/her personally and his/her family as well as business. They get half-convinced.

Moreover, I make clear that our initiatives are most cost effective and requires minimal resources and time. I also pass them the art of social organizing and motivation so that everyone could dig his own path of progress himself. Thereafter, they agree, but still remains awkward to act.

Then, I tell them a Newari proverb which reads like, "You can't harvest rice by planting thorns" and request start planting the best from now to harvest accordingly.

The last statement makes them true and selfless volunteers. Many of them came back to acknowledge me that they "experienced life in a way they could never enjoy anywhere else as freely, independently and sharing equally as at GI."

If they were not around, how could GI, without any external funding and donations, help ensure safe drinking water to more than 325,000 people, and change the way more than 15 thousand kids think, create, act and work and the conventional attitude their proteges perceive them?

Mentionably, a government officer and a renowned painter among others came to volunteer at a GI workshop in a suburb school last January. Before joining us, both of them asked separately, "There is no remuneration. What is the benefit for us?"

"Wait and watch because the taste of pudding lies in eating," was my reply to both.

Two days later, both of them rang me to express gratitude for the platform GI provided as a workshop where they could come together, get introduced, share and serve. It was amazing to hear from such volunteers who were quite skeptical of material outcomes!

Actually what happened was they transacted paintings worth some US$2000 (a huge sum in Nepal) as one of the brothers of the officer owned an art gallery. Both were happy because the painter made money and the officer got the artworks at a heavily reduced price.

In a published interview in a cine magazine recently, our Extension Organizer and former Miss World Nepal admitted that it was GI which helped her make a debut in the film industry as she had an opportunity to get introduced with an accomplished film director during a campaign under the GI's water movement!

Get, Set, Go

I understand that you, like thousands of our well-wishers worldwide, also sympathize and love to support the cause that we're in. But you might be monologing, "Where and how to start?" as everyone does.

The entire process starts from you! You can do, and bring about a revolution. You are the master. God lies within you. Just have the cannon of humility, load that with the power of love and fire with the inertia of selfless service.

Here are some how-to-start movement millennium tips:

• Pray for universal peace andGI's work. Prayer has power. Recent studies at Duke University showed that those who pray regularly and attend religious services are physically and mentally healthier, and live longer. So, have faith in yourself and on your Creator (if you believe in one). Every morning when you wake up, look at your palms and mentally say, "Let me use these hands for the best possible results throughout the day. I command my hands not to commit any act which hurts others. I control my mind to be calm, patient and positive. Let the entire universe be in peace. Bless me."

Also, before going to bed do the same, and monolog, "I endeavored to do the best I could throughout the day. Forgive me if I committed some mistakes that hurt others. Be all beings in peace." Then, release each of your body parts from head to toe one by one, and relax. Start observing your breathing—coming in, going out. It may sound difficult to stop thinking in the beginning, but don't give up. Enjoy doing nothing. The process could be performed anywhere, in any position and anytime. This helps you empty your mind, thereby helping you to the realization of God within. I have tried this method of creative quietude with many for stress management, and worked wonders.

• Pledge to donate your eyes, kidneys, liver, heart and pancreas or any of them after death by filling the Medical Data Form. Get a Medical and Donor Card which speaks for you when you can't. Thus, you will not only save seven lives after death, you would also take the pride of being physically alive even after you passed away.

• Fill the Partnership/Volunteer Form, specify the area of your concern, sign and send us to movement millennium, GIIS, GPO box 10422, Kathmandu, Nepal or e-mail to youcando_2000@yahoo.com for free registration.

•If you're or your institution is already operational in any of the seven sectors under Movement Millennium you can join the Movement with your own programs. Fill both Partnership Form and Event Sheet.

• In case you need hard copies of this action guide and other accessories, order it by filling the Order Form. Or, translate and produce local version of this action guide with its contents and format intact so as to maintain universal uniformity of the Movement. GIIS can help you for cost-effective production and design.

• Start developing projects/events at your end independently in any of the seven sectors. Launch your program to join the united family of thousands of like-minded individuals and institutions from every corner of the globe.

• While developing programs, please make as simple as possible, allocating least expenses on the administrative side. Make an open call to use free time for a better cause. To attract mass attention to the call, design an A4 size flyer either by hand or computer, make a few photocopies, and stick them at public places like schools, colleges, libraries, religious congregations, book and gift shops, hospitals, theaters etc.

• For more publicity, organize a press conference or send a press release about what you are going to do or have done. This action guide also contains handy tips on how to access media more effectively.

• Do not hesitate to ask for help with anyone. Everyone has a heart which knows the language of love to humanity. For example, if you wish to organize a preliminary meeting, ask one of your friends or relatives to provide his space for an hour or two and sponsor tea and light snacks. Don't insist, but motivate.

• Get some saplings from the nearest forest office which you can get free of cost in most cases, and plant them in your community wherever applicable. Ask your neighbors to join the "Green Community Campaign." Ask them to plant a tree, christen them their own name or that of beloved ones, and adopt the tree by watering and protecting them. On weekends, you can also organize a picnic in a barren area where you plant trees besides enjoying the event.

• If you're interested to run aliteracy campaign, invest for buying a duster and a box of chalk. Ask the nearest school to provide the space and blackboard. Spend an hour a day in the morning or evening to make adults and children in your neighborhood literate. Ask high school or college graduates to volunteer for the cause. Before the 3rd Millennium begins on January 1, 2000, try your best to help at least 10 persons read and write.

• Superstition causes millions of deaths worldwide, particularly in developing countries. In such cases, launch numeracy initiatives. Give scientific evidences to what they think magical and godly. Comprehensive books are available in the market to counter such paranormal claims.

• Take part in the One Dollar Revolution. A single dollar is sufficient to ensure annual supply of safe drinking water to a person in developing world. You may not be aware that every 3 second, a person dies of drinking contaminated water somewhere in this planet!

• Water is a strategic resource. Decline in water production poses spiraling effects on human health, food production, environment and social stability. Conservation is the only solution which you can start from your home. Follow the simple steps to water conservation.

• Reduce, Reuse, Refuse and Recycle. Recycling is a prehistoric practice in the faecophilic East as evident from a Nepali proverb, khetko petma, petko khetma (from farm to stomach, from stomach to farm). Should we've acted according to the age-old saying, major river systems around the globe would not get as filthy as that of today!

I've got 1001 ideas how you could put your believe in action, serve and share, and love, learn and lead. Some of them have been outlined in the chapters that follow. Please feel free to design and implement new ideas independently on your own, and share with us.

Global Breakthrough—Get Connected

You may be amazed at our repeated calls to report us about the activities you carry out. It's because we would love to incorporate your activities in the Global Breakthrough—GI's official fortnightly magazine.

Besides its inspirational value, global breakthrough helps to direct the attention of the press, people and policy-makers towards your activities. We need details to direct the media towards your activities. Send us the information you currently have and update on a weekly basis or as you have more details. We want to send a message to the world through Global Breakthrough.

The launch of the maiden edition of the fortnightly magazine is slated for December 5, 1999 to coincide with the International Volunteers' Day. Copies of the magazine would be circulated among the GI partners, volunteers, figures of international repute, policy-makers, press, international and independent sector organizations, schools, colleges, universities and governments worldwide.

Therefore, make copies of the Event Sheet and fill out a copy for each event with as much details as possible. If you've got a photograph, attach and send to the Movement Secretariat at Movement Millennium/GIIS, GPO Box 10422, Kathmandu, Nepal or e-Mail to youcando_2000@yahoo.com.

Good News about Awards

Your efforts wouldn't go in vain. The Movement Secretariat has arrangement of following incentives:

• Every partner organization or volunteer receives an elegant and customized Certificate of Appreciation from the GI International Secretariat (GIIS). The Certificate would be printed on a rare variety of chlorine-free indigenous paper, made of natural fiber,lokta.

• The best performers (individual or institutions) at the global scale would be honored with Humanity Service Award on the basis of the recommendations of the jury, comprised of eminent world citizens.

• Regular event organizers (person or group) in local communities would receive Community Service Award from the Movement Secretariat.

• The best organization or individual who support the Movement Secretariat directly would be honored with Millennium Award.

• The most outstanding corporate sector or commercial organizations which lend their hands directly to the Movement Secretariat would be awarded with the Social Responsiveness Award.

All awards except the first one would be given away in the last week of December, 2000 to coincide with the annual mega-event, Atelier for Peace whereas the first one would be immediately issued on the basis of participation or event organization.

Sharing is caring

My father always reminded me, "The more you share whatever you have learned or had, the more you would excel."

A college student was finding difficulty with studies. He complained to his professor, "I study hard to the best of my knowledge, but I can't retain what I read . Do you think I could do better if I hire a private tutor?"

"No," came the reply from the professor, "You don't need a tutor, you need a student because learning is enhanced when we share our knowledge with others!"

What I am trying to say is whatever you have read in this action guide, share the sentiments and spread the words about the Movement with your family members, neighbors, colleagues, seniors or employees at your office, teachers and students at schools and colleges, members of professional and religious groups and clubs or whomsoever you meet.

Try to reach at least five persons and convince them to do the same during leisure. Or, order hard copies of this action guide and distribute them to all you love because a research showed that 53% of people tend to forget the words and 49% what was said.

Don't just sit there idle. Do something. Just do what you think you can. Invest your free time for a better cause. Come, surf into the next millennium with the united family of movement millennium. Together we comprise a powerful movement, dedicated to healing our planet and people.