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How to Cause a Ripple Among Seven Billion People

will smith on pain

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.

Forget for a a while that Charles Dickens is describing the climate of the French Revolution with his words in the opening of A Tale of Two Cities, and consider that he could very well be  describing the sum of each our lives instead.

Going even further, we can turn to the exact book that the main character of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 was told to memorize at a time when books were banned and the antidote to the book banning was to have members of  a secret society memorize specific books so that the book should live on in the memories of men and women…the name of the book? The Ecclesiastics, where we read that King Solomon, who had all the riches, power, success and women that he desired, in the end, came to the conclusion that in life–all is vanity.

I think that the point is, that we all want to believe in something.

And whatever that “something” may be–and even if we fall short of getting what we believe is true meaning in life–despite our failures, these beliefs remain so strong that we hold tight to them (even if not voluntarily) until our dying day. We cannot help but have our own way of viewing life, and we cannot help but to hold fast to the hope that our beliefs are true and possible–whether our dreams are realized, or not.

Still, there comes a time in many of our lives, when it becomes easier to see things as they are–and somehow, some of us find ourselves faced with a blinding light that shows us a particular path of meaning, and we feel relief in seeing a purpose in life that extends beyond pursuing Solomon-type riches, power, success, and women or men. And there is a relief in noticing where we find real meaning beyond our own ego, beyond our own self-gratification, beyond our own personal dream for our own personal selves.

Perhaps some of you may agree that one possible meaning in life can be summarized in seven words:

try to ease the pain of others

And, without being a cheerleader for helping people who won’t help themselves, or wallowing in a subject that causes a depressive tone, I try to position this thought of “easing the pain of others” as a chance to turn downward spirals of life upside-down–shifting these downward spirals into “staircases” to climb that leads to a place of hope and real results.

This is the first time that I’ve asked readers for help, and I have no clue as to whether any of my readers (around 1,250) will have an interest or want to invest time in helping to develop a list of the Top World Causes and the Five Greatest Authorities of Each Cause.

And so to begin…


(Note: This article is in a constant state of change/refinement as more information is available) 

The list is made of two parts:

1) the top causes worldwide, and

2) identifying at least five authorities or experts for each cause


I have the idea to contribute a small action that touches each of the top world’s top causes (starting by contributing $25 to, and see how my life (and perhaps the lives around me) changes for the better. While I have no idea what the outcome of such an experiment will be, I won’t think about that, and instead take action to be a part of something larger than myself, while paying attention to subtle and powerful “shifts” that hopefully take place in my life.

The list so far is as follows:


1. Clean Water

Experts:Make a Mark: Give $25 to * Stockholm International Water Institute * Technical Article on a Water Treatment Facility

Action: Donated $25 to (advocated by Matt Damon) on April 14, 2013

2. Hunger

“The Problem Isn’t Food Supply, It’s Distribution

Case Study: Distributing Rice, Beans and Oil in Kenya * Tepary Beans: Beans that Grow in Drought Conditions!

3. Homelessness

CBS News Report on The Solution to Homelessness Link

The Cost of the Homeless Link

Until the homeless can find homes, and when a shelter option is not possible, is it oversimplified to think that each homeless person could be issued an ultra lightweight tent as seen here for $350.00, and an ultra lightweight sleeping bag that withstands temperatures down to -4 C as shown here for 149.95? These items are small enough to fit in a backpack. And so while we seek solutions, for $250.00, there is a tolerable way for a homeless person to sleep at night.

4. Economic Crisis

5. Literacy

6. War Solutions / Repressive Regimes

7. Human Trafficking

8. Cancer

Experts: Ralph Steinman, physician diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, and Nobel Prize Winner

9. Domestic Abuse Against Women

Experts: Gloria Steinem Interview, Judith Herman

10. Child Abuse

11. Poverty 

Experts: Nobel Peace Prize Winner (A Plan to End Poverty) Muhammad Yunus

12. Unemployment

13. Energy Crisis (Natural Resource Depletion)

14. Terrorism 

15. Environmental Preservation

16. Mental Illness

17. Criminal Violence

18. Natural Disasters

19. Waste Management 

20. Antibiotic Resistance 

21. Education / Training

Experts: Ron Paul Link: Hey, Teachers, Leave Those Kids Alone

22. Nuclear Management

Experts: Angela Merkel (avoiding Nuclear Disaster), Ashutosh (Ash) Jogalekar

23. Tax Reform

24. Banking System Corruption

25. Pharmaceutical Scandals

Experts: Orthomolecular Medicine News Servicearchives and link addressing Pharmaceutical Regulations

26: Planetary Research

27. Autism

28. The Elderly Population – Regaining Respect

29. Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome

30. Leadership: How to Run a Country

31. Harmful Relationships

32. Endangered Species

33. Genetically Modified Foods / Seeds (GMOs)

34. Autoimmune Diseases

35. Biological Warfare

36. Cyberspace Security

37. Health Care Crisis

38. Sexual Abuse

39. Accident Trauma

Experts: Diane Poole Heller, Ph.D., Link: Auto Accident Trauma

40. Foreign Relations

41. National Debt

42. Electromagnetic Field Emissions (EMF) Disruption

43. Disease Prevention 

44. Disease Cures and Treatments

45. Basic Crisis Survival Plan

46. Children Who Need Homes

47. Infrastructure Development

48. Pollution 

49. The Existence of Personal Spirituality 

50. Protection of Personal Freedoms 

51. Recognizing Great Minds that are Outside of Societal Norms

52. Exploration of the “Love Phenomenon” 

53. Finding Purpose

Ego Depletion

54. Health Hazards

55. Addiction

56. Understanding Sexuality and It’s Influence on Behavior 

57. Birth Control /Voluntary Sterilization Availability to Control Population Growth


If you can help refine this Top World Causes List, especially suggesting authorities for any of these causes, I would be grateful if you would comment here or write me at with more information.

With Thanks,

~Sonya Glyn Nicholson


18 thoughts on “How to Cause a Ripple Among Seven Billion People Leave a comment

  1. On poverty, I forget the name of the fellow, but I think he is Indian who won the Nobel Peace Prize 2 years ago for championing loans to SMEs getting so many out of poverty.

    Nuclear disaster. I don’t know whether we can call her expert or authority but Angela Merkel has indicated that her government plans to switch off all nuclear plants in Germany in the next few years if I heard correctly.

    • Thank you for contributing the first two names. Finding prominent experts for each cause is a small step towards making a difference in people’s lives. I will research and try to locate the name of the gentleman from India you referred to and will learn about and add Angela Merkel’s name as an authority on Nuclear Disaster. Again, my sincere thanks. ~Sonya

      • Hi Sonya,
        Great Idea.
        The name of the gentleman that makagatu is referring to is Muhammad Yunus, he is from Bangladesh and won the Nobel prize in 2006. He basically changed people’s lives in Sri Lanka by introducing micro credit.
        Oh.. Meanwhile I noticed it is in your list already…
        I’ll try to come up with something new…



  2. Violence against women including all forms of assault, sexual slavery, prostitution, violence as a weapon of war, violence on the street and at home, etc. Because it crosses all borders, cultures, races, ages. When war is declared on one half of the world’s population, how much hope is there for all of us? And it is much worse than ever. One expert I can think of is Gloria Steinem who, among many other things she has done, started

  3. *Round of Applause* Amazing effort & well worth while..And this ? @”Perhaps some of you may agree that one possible meaning in life can be summarized in seven words:

    try to ease the pain of others…”..I totally agree! This is what I believe in & focus on daily actually..Comes naturally to me & its what I attempt to do with any /every person I come into contact with. Even the clients I meet on my 8 to 5 job. I commend you for your efforts at the world-wide level. When I think of anything to add to your list, I’ll be back. 2 thumbs UP

    • And if you think about it, most items on this list have to do with saving lives, which increases the population. Making birth control available to women and men is extremely important (which to your point– is now added, thank you). But, enforcing limits on the number of children people may have infringes personal freedoms. Do you have other ideas in mind for population control? Can you recommend an expert that you respect in this field?

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