It's funny how having kids can change your perspective on things. While perusing cnn.com I came across a story on the situation in Niger. I remember when I was younger the negative reactions I had when a commercial would appear showing starving children in Africa. Now as a parent when I see pictures of starving children close to death I can only think 'how would I feel if that were my child'? An earlier story reports that if this issue were handled earlier, the cost would have been only a few dollars to save each child. But, thanks to the negligence of most world leaders who did nothing until the problem became a disaster (including our own George Bush) the cost is now approximately $80 to save a child. $80 is not chump change, but I had just spent $200 buying a tricycle for my two sons. In the CNN picture, a child is receiving help from Doctors Without Borders. I had donated to the same organization right after the Tsunami disaster - they are known for having one of the highest percentages of donations that go to problem areas.
So I went to their site and sent an $80 donation. Then I went to the Microsoft matching site and had Microsoft match my gift. I used to think that it was rather meaningless - 3.4 million people starving and I sent enough for two. But I am sure now that it means everything in the world to the mothers of those two children.
So, in a slight digression from home automation and speech technologies, if you have kids (or even if you don't) think about what it would be like if those were your kids and how much that $80 would mean to you then vs how much it means to you now.