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Uploaded:2021-02-12
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When I say that things "are just this way" what I don't mean is that they had to be. We had plenty of chances to make this better along the way, and the US government did an extreme disservice to the world by pretending that tiny amounts of debt were worth not building infrastructure or educating children, but this is the world we are in now. If you want to know more, I REALLY suggest watching "Bending the Arc" on Netflix.

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Good morning John!

It's been a couple of years now since you called me up and you pitched an idea to me -- and usually I'm the one pitching ideas to you -- and it was big, and it was uncomfortable, and it was really good. When it comes down to it, this world is unfair.

Uh, and in many ways that are like *exhales* unacceptable and yet, I must accept them, right? Like I can't change everything about the world. And when it comes to access to food and water and healthcare and housing and education, it just seems like...these things should be fair and they are not.

I grew up, and you likely did too, knowing that the water that comes out of the tap is safe. And if it's not, something is very, very wrong. But for many people, that isn't the case.

For many people, there isn't even a place in their home that water comes out of. A really important part of this is that this lack of access to clean water, or to healthcare, or whatever, isn't news. And because this seems unacceptable, and also because we probably don't have that many resources to take care of it ourselves, and also we've got our own stuff we're dealing with, our brains make excuses.

And they do that a few different ways. And here are three of them: Some people think, "oh, these people have done something wrong." You don't even really need to come up with -- with what the thing is. I don't think many people watching this right now have that thought or, if you do, you don't believe it; it's just like a thing that occurs to us.

That's part of this; that it's okay to have these thoughts 'cause our brains are trying -- are trying to explain and unexplainable world. Here's a thought that my brain *does* surface; like when I'm interfacing with this, this will arise. My brain will say, "okay, these people never had these things though, so it's not as bad if they don't have them because they weren't reliant on them." And that's a terrible thought, right?

Like it doesn't matter if your child is well because you've always known that that might be more likely to -- *ooaurlll*. It's a nasty thought but our brains are trying to solve a puzzle. And the third one, which is the most accurate of the three, is: these systems are really complicated, they're really broken, I don't know what I can do, and I don't have a lot of power in this world.

And this is true. There's different cultures, different NGO's, different governments, healthcare companies, there's all these stakeholders, and the communities themselves. And so it is really hard to interface with the problem of global health.

Right? Like just that phrase, "Global Health". I am intimidated.

But there are people who saw these problems, and these systems, and they said, "y'know, that's not good enough." People who have been working for decades to develop the best systems for interfacing with complicated problems in ways that really make them better; and sustainably better! And better in a way that builds on top of itself. So John, when you asked me, a few years ago, to take a significant portion of the money I currently had and also promise a lot of the money that I would make in the future, which is a -- a commitment, to some of the people who look at this problem and don't just try to explain it away but actually say, "what are the best ways to solve this problem?", I, swallowed hard, and I said, "yes." John, the Project 4 Awesome starts today, Friday the 12th, at noon and then goes through the 14th.

And during the first half of the Project 4 Awesome, we're raising money for two organizations, Save the Children and Partners in Health, that don't just try to explain this problem away; they try to fix it. The livestream will be going 48 hours here on the vlogbrothers channel on YouTube, we're raising money at project4awesome.com/donate, there's a ton of great perks including this Hanklerfish art that my friends and I made together that's already selling out. There's Project 4 Awesome shirts and coins and socks and posters and lots of weird stuff that Jon and I have come up with.

I've got a short story about April May going to VidCon, I'm gonna host a trivia night (it's a $100 but the prizes will be very good). If you wanna vote for any of the charities that might get some of the money from Project 4 Awesome, you can do that at project4awesome.com. And if you want to donate and get amazing perks, Project4Awesome.com/donate is the place to go.

We're using Tiltify this year, which is specifically designed for charity livestreams, so there's a product just for that now. It's gonna be a tiny bit harder to go through all the perks but it is way easier for our team. I'm so excited about this weekend, John, I'm really looking forward to it, and I will see you, ah, tomor--today!

Today!