Evolving technology in the last decade alone has allowed for information to be spread more easily, more quickly and in many more forms. There is so much for an individual to consume. The good, the new, and the sweet bits are fun. Who can resist watching an adorable panda cuddling next to it’s mother in Chengdu, China, or an infant be frantically rescued from the rubbles of collapsed building in Nepal by a group of dusty men! The harder facts of life are more difficult to stomach, like watching an infant get kicked around by an aggravated mother, or reading about the widespread occurrence of men with ‘nontraditional’ sexual preferences being cornered and beaten to death. When I see these individual problems I can’t help but think to myself “I want to help. But. Where do I start?”
Kim Nguyen, Software Quality Assurance
As just one person, it’s easy to fall to into the habit of putting away and out of sight the bad and focus on the problem immediately in front of you, your family and your home. It’s easy to say “I’ve resolved any major insecurities in my home. My family is safe, children are good, my finances are in order and there are no imminent dangers.”
Without a clue on where to start, sometimes we just complain about problems. We share a meme on Facebook. We sign an online petition. We get appalled. Then we watch a cat video. But that sort of activism doesn’t fix problems. They’re still there. I’m tired of clicking like. So again, “I want to help. But... Where do I start?”
Growing up in a large family, there was never an excuse to not pitch in. We all had access to the same limited resources. It was simply the practical and “asian” thing to do to lend a hand. For my sisters and I, the saying was and still is “I want to help. When or where can I start?” For every meal, every event, every family or personal crisis my siblings and I were trained and conditioned like soldiers to resolve the issue of our specialty. The eldest was the master tamer of explosive emotions, the second eldest the master planner and practical solutions engineer, my younger sister the task master and mistress of smooth talking, I the muscle and enforcer of positive results, and my baby brother the trojan horse that will reign his arrows of cuteness on any unsuspecting agitator. Everyone has their roles, responsibilities, and obligations. No challenge was met with defeat, thus far. Much like my family dynamic, I sincerely believe that in a more connected world, thanks to technology, we as individuals have a moral obligation to those around us.
So what is our responsibility to the world outside our own family? Do we continue our lives, focusing on the immediate, and only giving attention to the things unforeign?
My family was fortunate. We grew up with a community of people who bent over backwards for each other. Their efforts to help a complete stranger had placed my family and myself on a path different from the one we were originally set on. Their actions allowed the lifestyle and opportunities that we have today.
With a bit of middle school teaching, a little comic book inspiration, and my roots in a community that is just that - a community - I’ve come to the following conclusion. While I am ill-equipped to be any sort of advisor to an individual in need, I can however do my part by using my unique skills to supports those doing the real work.
For me - I found a place to start. I work at Aunt Bertha as a Quality Assurance Analyst. I’m using my skills as a master planner, practical solutions engineer, and enforcer of positive results. The only difference is that I’m using those skills a little differently now.
Aunt Bertha is not a person, but rather a group of people building tools for social workers, teachers and health care professionals advocating for families in need. By making information accessible, searchable, filterable, and analyzable we’re happy to play a small part.
Want to learn more about our team? Check out the video introduction below.
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