Katrina van Overbeke just shared with me the website www.change.org, a social network for hundreds of social causes and over 1 million nonprofit organizations. When I went to the site and clicked on the tag Empower Women, it took me to an article, which quoted Muhammad Yunus, the recent winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, as saying, “The more women are empowered, the more fundamentalism is weakened.”
Having been on the advisory board of a micro-finance institution in Latin America, I am a strong proponent of micro-finance. As women have the opportunity to bootstrap their way out of poverty, they not only become active members in their community, their children are able to stay in school, thus making potentially even greater contributions to society. To consider the possibility that micro-finance can also be a catalyst for widespread social change is simply breathtaking.
But what does this have to do with you and me and ‘dare to dream'?
The Intellectual Immigration Fund is, after all, patterned after the micro-finance model, only the deposits and withdrawals are in the form of intellectual capital and encouragement, rather than monies.
And whereas no one will argue with me that in places like the U.S., Canada, and Europe, monies are in relatively ready supply, given the apparent rampant depression in the U.S. (whose root is often repressed anger), I would argue that the ability to trust ourselves, to encourage one another, to move to the center of our lives, is not.
If each one of us began to actively make deposits in the Intellectual Immigration Fund, mentoring one another, being the see-er of one another's magnificence until we can see it for ourselves, how many more of us would move to the center of our lives?
And, when we are at the center of our lives — as an individual, a spouse, a parent, a daughter, a friend — we are changing the world.
That is indeed breathtaking!