I’m not a superstitious person. But there’s something intriguing about being alive on 10-10-10. The number 10 has such satisfying “wholeness” to it. As kids, we learn to count to 10 as if it’s the ultimate arithmetic end-game. 10 fingers. 10 toes. Easy!
Then eventually, we discover the Power of 10 – and the magic of the multiplier effect. In the 1970s, designers Charles and Ray Eames created a film called “Powers of 10.” In less than 10 minutes, we’re visually transported from a man picnicking in a Chicago park – to the edge of space – and back. A ground-breaking concept in its time – and still fascinating to watch as streaming digital video!
Well, I can’t top that feat. But I can try to expand human understanding at the crossroads of faith and freedom, by offering a small “Powers of 10” homage of my own.
What’s inspired me? Coincidentally, several days ago, the US entered its 10th year of war in Afghanistan. This milestone didn’t receive much media attention – despite the fact that our military and diplomatic efforts have shifted into high gear, and more troops are deployed now than ever.
So here’s what I propose as a 10-10-10 Afghanistan awareness challenge (with a nod to the USO for its campaign with a similar name):
10 Minutes – Carve-out this brief block of undisturbed time
10 Voices – Research the 10 people below who have compelling stories to share
10 Links – Check out the 10 organizations below that are making a difference
Don’t consider this a definitive “best of” list. Instead, think of it as a “starter” – a representative sample of worthy resources. It’s an eclectic mix of scholars, humanitarians, observers and organizations who strive for progress, in their own way. Each is a unique thread in the complex fabric that defines our post-9-11 world.
Once you spend some quality time with my lists, I hope you’ll add your own favorites to the radar – and perhaps share them with others.
Who knows? You might even be moved to create your own “Power of 10” challenge – contributing 10 minutes a day to learn more & educate others – or donating $10 a week to advance one of these missions.
Just imagine what’s possible, with the Power of 10-10-10!
P.S. Do you have a 10-10-10 list of your own? Or would you like to add to mine? If so – tell me about it!
Soulful Change Agents
The Kitchen Dispatch – Professional writer Kanani Fong shares her unique perspective as the wife of a surgeon who joined the Army after years in the private sector.
Red Bull Rising – An Iowa National Guardsman provides an entertaining, under-the-hood peek into the world of a dedicated citizen-soldier.
A Little Pink in a World of Camo – This Marine’s wife began chronicling her life while planning her wedding. After losing her husband during downrange operations in Helmand Province early this year, she continues to offer an intimate view of her world – facing the future as a newly-widowed mother.
Helping Civilians in Harm’s Way
Spirit of America - Connects troops with resources they need in providing aid and comfort to victims of war.
Operation International Children – Co-founded by actor Gary Sinese, this organization delivers much-needed school supplies to Iraqi and Afghan children.
War Kids Relief - Empowers citizens of war-torn nations to improve their conditions by establishing cross-cultural connections with sponsors from the West.
Women for Women – Helps female war survivors rebuild their lives by providing financial aid and job skills.
Support for Troops on the Front Lines
Soldier’s Angels – Brings comfort to soldiers, veterans and their families through prayer, networking and compassionate acts.
Operation Gratitude – One of the most recognized organizations that tirelessly supports troops by sending care packages – almost 600,000 sent to-date.
USO – The “granddaddy” of support programs, resources and facilities for active military, wounded warriors and veterans.
Beyond the Battlefield
Wounded Warriors Project – Aims to foster the most well-adjusted generation of wounded warriors in U.S. history.
TAPS – Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors – America’s frontline resource for those who’ve lost a loved one serving in the military.
IAVA – Representing the interests of Iraq and Afghanistan war vets - in government, business and our communities.
NOTE: To learn more about Jeff’s role in the Afghan War, when he was deployed as a border police trainer near Pakistan, check out his book, Afghan Journal – available in print and Kindle version at Amazon.com. Or join the discussion at Jeff’s Afghan Journal Facebook Forum.