TGUP’s Vision: Three Levels of Meaning
TGUP’s Vision: Three Levels of Meaning
TGUP in Kenya

The Global Uplift Project is bringing about a better world, for all of us. That work is not random. Nor is not founded only on good intentions. It is tangible, structured, and intentional. It is revealed in three successive levels of meaning that inform everything we do. Anybody can participate at any level they want.

The first level of meaning is what happens outside of ourselves as a result of our work. It’s about building classrooms, medical clinics, libraries, latrines, and other small-scale infrastructure projects in the developing world.

These projects dramatically improve life chances for some of the poorest people in the world. They are a tangible expression of our highest purpose and our most noble pursuit: a single humanity working to reduce human suffering.

TGUP in Nicaragua

If only a part of this meaning is ever realized, the world will be a better place. And, in fact, it already is. We’ve completed more than 160 of these projects in the developing world. Over their expected lives they will help hundreds of thousands of people have a better chance in life, because they are better provisioned for their own self-development.

The second level of meaning is one that goes on inside of ourselves. It is to transform a generation--millions--of people from being isolated, selfish, competitive, and impotent, to being connected, compassionate, cooperative, and competent.

It is in the act of choice--to help someone else so much worse off than we are--that we are transformed. We are bigger when we help others. And if we all do it, the effect is staggering.

TGUP in Nepal

People who participate in TGUP inevitably say, “This is one of the greatest things I’ve ever done.” Even if they’ve only donated a dollar, the elation and the empowerment are real. That’s the point.

If we can cultivate these character traits in millions of people, by showing them tangible proof of the joy and efficacy in altruism, we will create a different world, because millions of people who are connected, compassionate, cooperative, and competent act differently than those who are not.

The final meaning of TGUP is what happens, not outside of us, not inside of us, but between us. It is about turning upside down the way culture is created on the planet.

TGUP in Kenya

For 500 years, since Gutenberg, we’ve lived as recipients of culture, passive consumers at the bottom end of a one-way pipe. Yet soon, every person alive will be able to create culture and share it with everyone else. It’s already happening with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, and more.

Instead of being passive recipients of culture, we become its creators. Instead of simply downloading and reacting, we can upload and initiate. The difference is profound, epochal. But connections and tools, no matter how wizzy, are still only mechanisms. They are like the box of a television. It facilitates but doesn’t create.

TGUP in Indonesia

What we need is the content--like the programming of television--that reflects the different set of common values when bigger people act differently, together. How do we model the values of a single humanity working to reduce human suffering? How do “bigger people” really act? Instead of “me,” “us”. Instead of predation, stewardship. Instead of titillation, substance. Instead of alienation, community.

If we give people the means to embody those values, to enact them as an intentional part of their lives, they will grow organically, as an integral part of the emerging global culture.

That culture, because it is shared among bigger people, will come to reflect our highest ideals rather than our deepest fears. It will look like the world we’ve always longed for but scarcely dared to believe could be possible.

TGUP in Zambia

It is possible. But only if we act now, before the values of this new global culture are fixed.

What is outside of us: noble projects.

What is inside of us: bigger people.

What is between us: a transformed global culture.

All of these meanings are there and are working today for those with the daring to believe in a better world, and the courage to act to bring it about. YOU are one of those people. If you want this kind of world, then join us. The world needs you.

Thank you for your participation in this vision.

Uplift  for a Better World

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