top of page

hu·man·i·tar·i·an [hyoo-man-i-tair-ee-uhn or, often,yoo-]

1. having concern for or helping to improve the welfare and happiness of people.

“I wish I could do something like you, helping others.”  A man came up to me and told me this at an event at the University of North Dakota some years ago.  “But, I’m too old now.”  I asked how old he was, and he said, “Forty-three.” I’m forty-four, I told him.  “Yeah, but my finances are just not where I could take the time to dedicate to others.”  I live month-to-month, I told him.  “And I have a son, so I really need to take care of him first.” I have two kids, I told him.

He was going to wait until the stars aligned for him to decide that he was ready to help others. I wasn’t trying to guilt him in to becoming a humanitarian, but the point I did try to make in our short conversation that followed was that he already had everything he needed to start helping others, and that his life was at the perfect point for starting.  He just need to start!

There are amazing, brave humanitarians aro