A few years back, I was having an email exchange with a friend in Boston about the powers of technology. We reflected about how incredible it was that we were communicating with each other in silence over a 3000 mile distance. In some weird way, this proved that some form of telepathy seemed like it was happening – even though it had a clear, causal explanation.

Ever since I was a kid, I thought about the power of picking up a phone and dialing someone’s number and how it would get them to get out of their chair and say “hello.” I could even call a house in China and bring real physical change on the other side of the world – with such ease!

To me, this has always been extraordinary.

watermelonI thought about how cool it would be to type a few strokes on my computer, and ask my friend to go to the store and buy a tomato or a watermelon or something silly and give it to a random stranger – just to create a bizarre moment on the other side of the country.

In that same spirit, when my friend Mark Jacobs was in India a couple years back, I decide it was time to engage in this experiment. I sat in my back shed and looked at the computer monitor and looked at the keyboard. I was very far from India. Just as I am typing now, I tapped a little message asking him to participate in this experiment I had always wanted to try. I told him that I would give him $20 to do something helpful for someone else on the other side of the world. I told him that I just wanted to experience for certain that my little tapping and small donation indeed could bring change on the other side of the world.

In his characteristic joie de vivre, Mark J. (who was ALMOST chosen as the next Bachelor) jumped on the challenge and had an extraordinary experience which you can read about here.

The following year, Loveleen and I conducted the same $20 experiment with 11 fellows from Indicorps and we got a long personalized response from each fellow with their unique and carefully chosen methods of making a difference with $20. After seeing that long list, it’s hard to imagine a better investment of $220.

If you are interested in seeing what kind of effect you can have, I’ll be happy to act as your tenticles on the other side of the globe. To play along, click here.

Just today, we were able to buy a gas stove, grains and basic food for six months, and stainless steel containers for a small family living in the slum. The woman had acid thrown over her face by her (now ex-)husband, permanently melting her face and burning out her eyes. Her young sister, Bumika, who is really only a child, takes care of everything and is an amazingly bright spirit. The whole cost was only about $50, but will make a world of difference to them.

There are many such examples.