“Let your broadcast of love bless the world.”—A Course in Miracles
Reading through E-Squared to update for the upcoming 10-year-anniverary edition, I was struck by the opening dedication: For Roosky. May your light forever shine.
Roosky, of course, is one of Taz’s gazillion nicknames: Taz-a-roo which led to Roosky which led to the dedication and my hope that the light and love she so clearly conveyed would bless the world. At the time, I was assuming its broadcast would continue here in the flesh.
But as Virginia Francess Sterrett said, “As long as space and time divide you from anyone you love, you simply have no choice but to go into battle with space and time and, furthermore, to win.”
That’s the goal of the Taz Grout 222 Foundation. Not so much to battle, because well, battling just keeps the crazy going, but to defy space and time by keeping alive Taz’s incredible light. Every year on February 22 (that’s today friends!), we give a gift to an innovative project or person with a big idea to change consciousness and therefore the world.
In times such as this, it’s vital to recognize that behind-the-scenes, beneath-the-news there’s a completely different story going on. There are so many of us who only want to love and serve and who really believe with our entire hearts and souls that a more beautiful world is not only possible, but is right now, as we speak, gathering breath.
As usual, the foundation got lots of great pitches for lots of worthy projects. And as always, I consulted Taz (I’m just her ground crew, after all) to finally settle on the following projects for this year’s 222 Foundation gift:
I. I have fallen in love with Bill and Pat Taylor who started the Southeast Asia Foundation to, as they say, give back to the Universe for the countless blessings they’ve enjoyed in their lives. Not only does every single penny go to their mission (all operating expenses come from their own pocket), but they show up themselves, boots on the ground, to make sure every one of their projects begins with and is guided by locals. They take their inspiration from Lao Tzu, insist on both sustainability and religious inclusion and act on the words from an oval river rock Pat once gave to Bill for his birthday: “You cannot do all the good the world needs, but the world needs all the good you can do.”
Thanks to Bill and Pat’s beautiful work (their tagline is “It takes a girl to raise a village”), the 222 Foundation has chosen to fund seven libraries in rural Siem Reap, Cambodia: four for kids, two for high schoolers, one for university students and one for the community. Taz LOVED books and worked at the Grinnell library when she was at university so having access to books, rare in rural Cambodia, is a must for promoting literacy and providing access to new possibilities.
We’re also funding a chess club and providing filters and fuel for water purification towers in Siem Reap. Mostly, we want Bill (he even shared a wonderful 222 story from when he was a 9-year-old Boy Scout) and Pat to know how much we appreciate their open hearts, generosity and unflinching belief that “it’s not merely about the money. It’s about each girl knowing that somebody some place in the world loves her and cares about her and encourages her to make something of her life.”
2. The other project Taz led me to support (isn’t she just brilliant?) is Craftroots, an artistan collective I was able to visit twice when I was in India last month. Once again, I fell in love with their mission. Yes, I fall in love A LOT!
Craftroots works with more than 17,000 artists in rural villages, keeping alive 72 ancient Indian arts and crafts. They aren’t out to scale their model or grow profits or production. Their aim is to bring a conscious shift in society by putting beauty into everything.
The artisans, mostly underprivileged women, aren’t viewed as laborers. Rather, they make up a sisterhood where each artist is genuinely respected, celebrated and encouraged to see their work as an offering to the divine—the divine in themselves and the divine in all life. Artisans pray together, read inspiring quotes each morning and focus on Truth: oneness, belonging and kinship.
Founder Anar Patel (to the right) also participated in ServiceSpace’s life-changing Gandhi 3.0 and says working with rural artisans is the greatest privilege of her life. She described it as her form of worship.
The 222 Foundation’s form of worship is looking for creative ways to burn through our culture’s prevailing trance of scarcity and lack and to provide a pinhole through which new possibilities and ways of being can shine. We are honored to support the above two projects and to remind everyone that there is light waiting for all of us to find. Happy #222!
Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World).