Monday, October 11, 2004

Have You Gone MAD Today?

The human race is cleanly divided into two distinct categories. One is the Haves who comprise less than 2% of the world's population. The other is the Havenots who fill up the remaining 98%.

Just answer this simple question to see which category you fall into:

Q. Are you reading this sentence on your own?

If your answer is "Yes", it means a great deal.

It means you are not visually impaired. You have functioning hands to operate a computer. You can understand what you are reading, which means you are literate, and infinitely more significantly you are literate in English. This in turn implies you are at least reasonably educated. It also indicates that you have access to a computer and the Internet, whether you are in school, college, hostel, office, a cybercafe, or home.

Congratulations! You are very definitely a Have !!! You are in the top 2% of the human race in terms of access to education, employment opportunities, income levels, medical care, housing, and goodness knows what else. So look around you ... of every 100 people you meet, only one other, symbolically speaking, will be as or more fortunate than you !!!

So you're a Have. So what?

Let's start from here ... there's a little bit of madness in all of us. So why not redefine the term MAD itself?

Why not define MAD as "Making A Difference"?

It is here that the concept of the MAD Club comes in.

The MAD Club is a group of Haves. Age, Gender, Religion, Nationality no bar. The only criterion is that the members should feel a common desire to Make A Difference. To the people they meet. To the world they live in.

The purpose of the MAD Club is to think up, plan, organize and implement simple projects which will touch people and improve lives. These projects need not be elaborate in the least. They can be one-off or repetitive. They can be grassroots level or futuristic. They can shake up the world, or equally, they can just make the canteen boy in your office grin for a moment.

The MAD Club is not an NGO. It is simply aimed at being a congregation of like minded people who would like to spend some time together and carry out little projects which make a difference. Members of the MAD Club are strongly encouraged to work with various NGOs and organizations, and share their experiences with others in the MAD Club.

Sounds great so far, right? But how? After all, each of us is busy, caught up in our education, our careers, our family lives, our social lives. Even if we do have the inclination, we scarcely have the time or the energy to do "social work" at the end of a tiring day. So how can we Make A Difference? How can we MAD?

Well, how about MADding only when we have time and inclination, only in or around our place of residence, only within our budgets, only within our constraints? And it needn't be anything big either !!

Do we have any examples to show us the way? Sure we do !!

A great example of a MAD project is A smile across many miles. Another is Dreams Come True. A modern-day Florence Nightingale has initiated a wonderful project called People Helping People. Another project, International Blanket Day, will follow soon. And some of our truly inspirational role models are these wonderful people.

Today, Monday October 4th 2004, heralds the official commencement of the MAD Club. The clarion call of this esteemed mental institution shall be, "Have You Gone MAD Today?"

True, one person alone can do very little. But together, trust me, we can truly MAD. We can Rock The World.

You are sincerely invited to join. If anyone wants to apply, or if anyone has any suggestions or queries (both are very cordially solicited, these will form the backbone of the MAD Club after all), please email suhailkassim@gmail.com with your name and location (city / country).

So come. Let us MAD. Together.

Anyone interested?

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