On a fifth annual trip to Australia, I had the opportunity to speak with those brothers and sisters who live "down under" proving once again, no matter the nationality, or continent, or community, everyone wants the same thing: peace and purpose.

With my partner Ples Felix, I spoke at a variety of venues, mostly schools and community locales (Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth). On my tour through the lovely country, I was also was able to bring my "Passionate Performance Model" to a management leadership team, as well as hold council with Australian Government Agencies in order to bring forgiveness process, as well as the CANEI Intervention program designed to rehabilitate youth offenders. There were plenty of moving interactions as evidenced by some of the testimonials we received from students we touched. Yet, with all busy scheduling, what was the biggest take away for me?

Answer: the way the Australian Government handles its social issues, as opposed to the manner in which our own country does.

In Australia, the Government takes the responsibility to provide support for the country's social issues, such as violence, gangs, homeless, etc. In our United States, such responsibility has been burdened on the nonprofit organizations, which provide the work needed to address similar social issues.

What I know as founder of two nonprofit organizations, the current economic environment in the USA is quite brutal, and many nonprofits - relying heavily on donors - have gone out of business. In San Diego, 23,000 nonprofits have shrunk to 9,000 because they could not function without financial resources. TKF too has had to downsize the work it is doing in the social arena as a result of shrinking monetary support. Fortunately TKF will survive and continue its good works, and this is a blessing. However, the basic landscape forces Government Agencies to provide the needed services that were being provided by nonprofits.
On the other side of the globe, the Australia country does a much better job at providing necessary resources. It too has a healthy nonprofit sector, but I believe the Australian Government has more commitment and compassion for the needy. I realize I may be coming off as a socialist, yet this is not the case.

It is about human dignity. I do believe that everyone wants to better their lot in life. Even the disadvantaged do but they don't know how. We must provide the solution. The biggest resource we have is the propensity in the needy folks to better their life situation, NOT the assistance we provide. The disadvantaged simply do not have the tools. It is our responsibility as responsible, socially conscious and caring citizen to provide these tools so they can become contributing members of our society.

It is important that we address these socials challenges is a healthy way. I do believe a public/private nonprofit partnership is the way to move forward in a meaningful way. Nonprofits are far more efficient in delivering services than government agencies, but it is critical that government support worthy nonprofits. We must look at that especially in these times when many have gone out of business and have left many deserving cases out in the cold. Australia, in my humble opinion, is doing a better job. We can learn from them.

As we move forward, let's keep in mind the serious challenges we face in our social arenas. Yes we are brilliant when it comes to making money, creating new technologies and new health sciences. So why are we failing at our social responsibility? Why can't we also be brilliant at creating social solutions that rival our technological, economic and health platforms?
Answers to these questions will lead to solutions for peace, prosperity and purpose for us all.

Author's Bio: 

Azim Khamisa is an inspiration. Hailed by dignitaries such as the Dalai Lama, Former President Bill Clinton and Al Gore, Azim carries his inspirational message of forgiveness, peace and hope into a world in desperate need of each. Following the loss of his only son Tariq in 1995 to a senseless, gang-related murder, Azim chose the path of forgiveness and compassion rather than revenge and bitterness, and this amazing choice led to the establishment of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation (www.TKF.org) and the subsequent forgiveness movement which has reached millions. Website: www.AzimKhamisa.com