If you do not ask, the answer will always be NO. — Paulo Coelho
A truism if ever there was one, I learnt from my Father.
In NeverSeconds, an almost impossible book to find (but a must read), David Payne tells of seeking help from his neighbours in running his smallholding.
He felt he was seeking help too often. On the contrary they told him, you do not seek our help often enough.
But I am giving little back in return.
It does not matter, they told him, we are more than willing to help you, and all we ask, is that you in return help someone else.
He did, he helped his daughter Martha set up a food blog called NeverSeconds, in which she wrote about her school meals.
Argyll and Bute Council were of a different view, some may say on a different planet. Rather than praising Martha for her excellent journalism, they decided to shut her down, before that, they tried to portray her as a liar, accused the family of bad parenting.
When Martha heard of the lies, she was upset. She then fought back, she wrote on her blog the truth. When her blog was forced to close by the Council acting like playground bullies, the Council was forced to back down.
Martha has served as an inspiration to others, who have set up blogs to fight injustices. Through her blog she has raised over £120,000 for a school kitchen in Malawi, which she was invited to inaugurate.
Last week Martha was the youngest ever recipient of Red Hot Woman of the Year. The week before, recipient of a Human Rights Award for standing up for free speech.
It is surprising what can happen when you ask, and when you are willing to help others.
- Bullying of a nine-year-old girl is not acceptable
- Red’s Hot Women Award Winners 2012
- Why Martha Payne was honoured by Liberty
- Martha, Meals and Malawi