Signing up to an iCats fellowship is much more than an incredible experience that changes hearts and minds – it’s a true test of commitment.
For all 24 iCats, this year, we made a compromise. A compromise to directly have a hand in changing the World for the better. To selfishly give up our many comforts of Western life and the physical closeness of our loved ones and friends for cause greater than ourselves.
Constantly, testing our compromise is the capitalist society that indoctrinates us on a daily basis. It drives a wedge between thinking solely about ourselves and sacrificing for the greater good of mankind. The year as an iCat fellow requires resisting capitalist urges of wealth and luxury. The year as an iCat, however personally beneficial, is not about you. It’s about the company you goto help and the social impact you create and influence.
“All mighty dollar” and “cash is king” are not sufficient for making real impact as the
capitalistic system has us believe. While digging in our pockets to donate at the next relief appeal makes us feel good, it’s hardly the same as being on the ground and getting your hands dirty. No one can deny that money is useful in these organisations but it’s the transfer of intellectual capital or knowhow that really makes the lasting impact. Or as the Chinese proverb says – Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
As iCats fellows we provide the hands and minds to build lasting change. We develop a bond, much like a marriage, with the organisation we assist – we promise to be true to our organisations in good times and bad. By no means is the fellowship designed to be comfortable nor easy. But that’s the challenge that comes along with the commitment of an iCat fellow; to overcome the personal adversity and drive positive social impact.
Although it’s only 10 1/2 months, the life an iCat fellow isn’t for everyone. The commitment comes with many challenges, stress, and the usual uncomfortableness that comes with living in a foreign land. But nothing is ever easy. It’s overcoming these adversities which brings the greatest highs. So if you’re ready to raise your hand for something much greater than yourself and you have the commitment to give it your absolute all, consider applying the upcoming iCats program in 2013.
A quitter never wins and winner never quits.