(found this bus last year in North Carolina)
Our country is sitting and watching a screen play role out right before our eyes. Most of us are angry, many of us are hurt, and the majority of us are scared about what this all means. The shootings these past few days have opened a bigger discussion to not just power and how it’s used, but hatred and injustice and prejudice.
Men have lost their lives. Black men, white men… men. Men with families, wives, girlfriends, jobs, hopes, dreams, fears. And we sit here, feeling helpless and hopeless but wanting to figure out what we can do to help make a change and try to bring peace into this broken world.
I’m hear to say that I don’t believe that it’s possible to have world peace. Power, ignorance, greed, pride, hate, intolerance, and negative influences will always exist. They always have, and they always will. But that doesn’t mean we loose. In fact, it means that all of us very carefully need to come together to focus on the areas around us so that as much darkness as possible can be dispelled. That there will be more truth found than lies, that there will be more educated children than not, that there will be more love and tolerance than arrogance and spite.
Here is what you can do to be a force for good, when you feel like you don’t know where to start. I believe that it’s the one on one human interactions that changes people:
1- Use your social media platforms for good. Use them to uplift, to raise awareness, to lend support and offer love. Decide now that you will not instigate arguments or name calling or online word battles, but you will simply use the voice you have to uplift. You’ll be tempted to curse out words to different people at times, but choose now to not spread more animosity online. That doesn’t mean not to speak up, it just means to speak up out of love.
2- Find an organization in your community to serve in. My heart is with underserved youth and children, because they need the tools to become educated and heard to join the fight for goodness. Justserve.org is an amazing website to find organizations in your area that are in need of volunteers.
3- Take cookies to your neighbors. Strong relationships create strong communities which creates a whole love of love.
4- Send a letter to someone you’ve been thinking about for a long time, and just lift them up.
5- Collect back to school items for an inner city school.
6- Leave little notes of encouragement on bathroom mirrors around your town.
7- Make cards with your children to send to the troops.
8- Read a new book that educates you on world issues.
9- Go to community meetings.
10- Volunteer at your child’s school.
11- Plant flowers in a run down neighborhood.
12- Give books to libraries in underserved.
13- Serve food to a homeless shelter.
14- Start your day meditating, with scripture study, or prayer.
15- Engage with people: Have conversations with your gas attendant, the clerk at the grocery store, the worker at the drive through… Interact with the people around you and leave a positive interaction with them that will uplift them during their day.
16- Purchase products that you need/want from companies that give back as often as you can. Be aware of what you buy.
17- BE NICE! My goodness, just BE NICE.
18- Teach a skill to a group of people that you have, but they don’t.
19- Help teach English to incoming refugee groups.
20- Make your home a safe haven from the outside world. Don’t allow junk and violent games or TV shows inside the walls of your home. Protect it from the outside influence of the world.
21- Take lunch to your kids teacher one day to thank them for their care for your child.
22- Create packets with essentials like snacks, socks, and water bottles and keep them in your car to give to the homeless that you pass every day.
23- Stay informed about whats going on around you, but don’t get too caught up in all of the negative news channels and reports. It will take away your happiness and peace really fast and become very overwhelming.
24- Go to lunch with a friend, and invest in each others lives.
25- Put together a neighborhood potluck to get to know each other.
26- Host a cultural night at your church or school, where everyone comes and represents their culture with food, dress, and customs.
27- Call someone on the telephone just to ask them how their day was.
28- Spend a day out in nature, free from devices, and just be.
29- Listen. Stop talking, and listen. Listen to the pain of others, and be there for them. Don’t offer opinions or even your advice, but just be a friend and a support system for those who are deeply, deeply hurting.
30- Teach tolerance, love, and respect to your children. And this isn’t done with words alone, this is done through actions. YOUR actions.
31- Make extra cookies in your batch, and go drop them off at a police station. I think a lot of them could use some love right now.
32- Make anything and go drop it off to a class at an inner city/ underserved school. Their jaws will drop, and you will help water a seed that they matter.
33- Vote. It’s the beauty of a democracy, the people decide. Educate yourself, and use your voice to make changes in the way things are ran.
34- Express yourself through art or poetry, and share it.
35- Do something small, every single day, for somebody else.
We can’t change it all, my friends. But we can change some things. And as we all do what we can, every day, and not become crippled with fear, light and truth will overcome darkness.
It has to.
And we’re the only ones who can do it.