I am participating in 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes 2018 (all of my submissions can be found here).
Today’s prompt is: WHO
Today’s prompt is one I am taking literally.
One interpretation of “WHO” is the acronym for the World Health Organization.
I end up writing and editing content about that “WHO” three days a week, because I edit the UN Wire SmartBrief.
The fact that I get to edit the UN Wire SmartBrief is such a serendipitous thing for me that I am still, more than a month into it, a bit incredulous at how things end up working out the way they were meant to.
I was slightly involved with this newsletter when I was a freelancer, searching for and writing some of the summaries for it, then my duties took me to other topics.
Once I began applying for full-time positions, two of the ones I applied for ended up being filled by other applicants (who are fantastic, by the way). When I applied for the position I ended up in, I wasn’t aware it involved editing UN Wire.
UN Wire is such a personally satisyfing piece of my job because I have been involved in Shot at Life, a United Nations Foundation grassroots effort related to helping children have access to immunizations, for years. Before that, I was involved in the UNHCR Blue Key project for refugees.
I am reminded each time I edit this newsletter about the enormity of the world’s problems, juxtaposed against the miraculous fact that people keep trying to resolve them.
***end of five minutes***
I’ve tried (and not entirely succeeded in the way I wanted to) to explain in writing how it is worth doing the tiny things (tweeting a legislator, calling a legislator’s office, sending a constituent email) to achieve monumental accomplishments.
For example, I was recently involved in a RESULTS effort to get the United States to send a representative to the first-ever “high level meeting” at the United Nations about tuberculosis. Set aside the fact that there shouldn’t even have been a question about our nation sending someone, the process to try to get it to happen involved lots of small efforts aimed at creating the critical mass of public input that would sway those in the position to decide. We appealed to our representatives and senators to sign a letter that encouraged the administration to send someone.
—to send someone to a meeting…
—that would ostensibly set in motion efforts around the world to detect, treat and prevent TB.
It would be easy to give up on thinking that the five-minute (at the most) act of sending an email could make a difference, but it does.
The US did end up sending someone to that meeting.
Somewhere out there in the world, a simple email may make a difference to someone who needs the opportunity to live.