Even though there are no hard hats or military gear, the atmosphere at the headquarters at Direct Relief is a serious, focused, active, caring, and compassionate place, as I sit with several personnel at their headquarters today in Goleta, CA.
The plight of the Nepalese may slip to the back of your mind and then maybe just become an afterthought before being forgotten altogether. While there is a lot going on in the world, don't forget about Nepal.
It probably isn't a coincidence that we are learning about the benefits of silence and meditation just at the moment that the world is becoming noisier and busier than ever. However, it is one thing to hear this, read this, and know this fundamental truth in an abstract way.
Accountability cannot be achieved without honest, critical, constructive discussion about what is really happening. We must tell the whole, complex, discomforting truth, even if it leads us to conclude that "aid" isn't as helpful as we want to believe it is.
As humanitarian needs persist and even grow in Syria and neighboring countries, the rest of the world must not forget about the crisis. This is a time to be bold. This is not a time for inaction. This is not a time to watch a country be destroyed and generations of Syrians scattered and forgotten.
Far from unmitigated benefit, growth often causes and exacerbates serious mental, physical and environmental problems. Research shows that as wealth increases, so does obesity, diabetes, heart disease and depression.
The Syrian conflict, which this month enters its fifth year, shows no sign of easing. Since the start of the crisis in 2011, more than eleven million -- half of the population -- have been forced to flee the fighting and are now displaced inside the country.
One afternoon last month a man fell out of a dilapidated taxi near Monrovia. He seemed unwell and confused. Two young men nearby ran to the man, picked him up and put him back into the car. The taxi drove away, and the young men disappeared into the crowded streets.
We should all be immensely grateful for and supportive of the organizations who look after the women in the Sudanese refugee camps. At the same time, it can be too easy to overlook the fact that the person who needs your humanitarian heart may also be right under your nose.
The next time you hear a great woman utter that crippling phrase, look deep within yourself and then deep into her eyes, and ask her, "What can I do to help?" She's right, alone she isn't doing enough. But together, we have unlimited capacity and that's what it's going to take.