Monday, 6 June 2011

What value do you place on being able to read?


A colleague of mine, Moyra Weston, was inspired to set up a campaign called We dare to Care which at its heart is a vision to start a movement supporting and enrolling coaches and leaders to give their time to those that:

  1. Will benefit from coaching and leading support
  2. Can make a difference in society
  3. Cannot afford to pay for our services
It is a response to the growing inequality within society and I and 93 others have joined with Moyra to make it happen.  The purpose of this post however is not to talk about that campaign per se because it has a momentum of its own; really it is to share it as an example of something else that I have been grappling with for a while and which has finally been birthed so to speak.

I believe that we are always receiving messages about steps and ideas it would be good to consider in terms of spiritual growth.  Quite often these ideas can seem preposterous to us and those closest to us, so it can take much longer for them to come to fruition.  I have been grappling with one such proposition for some time.

In essence, what I am talking about is money, how we manage it and our relationship to it.  At its simplest, it is about knowing our monthly outgoings and income.  Do you know yours down to the nearest pound or do you know roughly what the amounts?  I have been reading about through and other sources about some inspirational people of late where there was a common theme.  They each tythed a percentage of their income to the Church or charity or some other good cause and in the end they made much more money.

I realise that sounds counter-intuitive and one or two close to me enquired into what I had been smoking when I shared this idea with them.  However I believe that there is an energy around money and the more that we manage it consciously and give away what we earn, the more that comes back in return.

Curious to see whether there is anything in this belief, I have decided to conduct an experiment. I looked into my current level of charitable giving against my income and decided to double the amount that I was tything.  That was the first step.  The difficulty was in deciding to what to donate the extra money.  This evening I picked up an Evening Standard on the way home and the first three pages were all about the paper's campaign with Volunteer Reading Help to Get London reading.  The most fascinating part was reading Sue Porto's, CEO VRH, experiences in the prison sector where she ended up as Head of National Training.  Chronic lack of self-esteem often caused by an inability to read and write was a common trait amongst many of the country's most dangerous offenders.

As a child, I remember how being able to read opened up a magical world to me which I could enter at any time I wanted.  So supporting VRH which is the largest provider of 1:1 reading support for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, seems like a good way to start my experiment of increased financial giving. 

The photo at the top of this post has been reproduced thanks to

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