Impossible choices are being made every day by more than 125 million people affected by crises and natural disasters. In fact, we are in the midst of the worst large-scale humanitarian crisis of our lifetime. Not since World War II have more people around the world been in desperate need of assistance as a direct result of ongoing conflict and violence.
Since the conflict escalated in March last year, 30 civilians are made casualties of war every day in Yemen. Houses and hospitals are bombed, whole civilian areas cut-off and under siege, and people are fleeing for their lives on a daily basis. After nine months of fighting, the country is sinking into a disaster of immense proportions and deeply tragic consequences.
It is almost exactly 67 years ago, to the day, that the registrar of Sheffield University wrote to my grandfather offering him a job as a museum technician. This might not be considered significant or life changing until you know that, at the time, he was living in a displaced persons camp. How easily could you compare my grandfather's story to today's refugees, fleeing the horrors in Syria?
Perhaps if we remembered that in this bleak world of ours Britain shines like a beacon of freedom, tolerance and compassion then we can be proud of ourselves, proud to help others and proud to push the international community to do its best. If we can rally round a positive patriotism about the place we're lucky enough to call home then we can drown-out the anti-British naysayers as well as helping those who sincerely need our help.
I've been thinking all day about how I can find the words for what we experienced last week. An hours drive from my house, then half an hour on the Eurotunnel, and we were in the world's worst refugee camp in terms of resources and conditions, yet we were welcomed with open arms. It's amazing how only the people who have nothing really know how to share.
World leaders are gathering in Kuwait today to decide the fate of millions of people in Syria and the neighbouring countries. The Kuwait pledging conference, the third of its kind, will bring together the UN and donor governments to pledge money to help civilians caught up in the spiralling violence. They will need to be generous - as the war enters its fifth year, Syrians and their neighbours are increasingly unable to cope with this unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.
I was asked this week why the NHS doesn't fund all the new technologies available for patients, particularly those with cancer. And when I instantly replied "Because we can't afford to", I surprised myself. Because no-one seems to say that when they talk about the NHS. And the NHS doesn't like to say no.
When it's leading up to Christmas and excitement is in the air, anticipation is aglow, and the adverts start rolling from let's face it, mid to late October, the anxiety surrounding getting prepared and buying enough presents to sink a battleship of rhinos (though why you'd want to do this, I'll leave to you) is all anyone seems to think about.
At NPC we argue that every charity and every funder should try to improve their impact. But because in the sector we are all mission focused, we should always be sharing our knowledge too, even as we have to compete with them in different ways. And that sharing is not only about impact lessons, but issues around failure and mergers.