Let me begin with the disclaimer–this is not a political rant nor a partisan perspective. My website is not the forum for this. The past year we’ve seen so much negativity, anger, divisiveness, and friendships and families torn apart by differing political opinions. It’s been exhausting and disheartening. It feels to me we’ve lost the art of civil discourse and the willingness to talk and work together (regardless of political affiliations) to solve problems. I have wonderful friends on both sides of the current political abyss and I enjoy lively, informed conversations with them. However, I do not tolerate disrespect, name-calling or abusive language from anyone, nor do I participate in this type of conversation. I have less respect for those who do nothing to improve the situation, yet complain excessively. Action speaks louder than words, especially when it comes to making changes in the world. If you don’t like the way things are and really want to be a world-changer, I suggest doing some research first to find positive ways to make a difference, then sign up and take action. Poverty, diseases, illiteracy, discrimination, children’s trauma, and social issues affect people every day without regard to who’s in office.
Here are a few simple suggestion to get started. The steps are the same for the issue you may feel passionate about.
Rather than debate the politics of the issue, there are several things you can do to take action and affect change. First, research and find an organization or nonprofit that resonates with your own values. Very simply, you can make a donation. For example, if organizations you value are threatened with a loss of government funding, they will need your financial support more than ever. Donate! If you have the time and energy, volunteer to work in a food pantry or soup kitchen. (more than just on Thanksgiving or Christmas, hunger is not seasonal). Showing up and offering hands-on help is meaningful to everyone, the recipients and to the volunteer. Find and become part of a community action group which focuses on the finding solutions to address the real impact of an issue in your area. You don’t need to look very far to find a need. Yes, this is a very critical time for humanity. This is also the time in our world to take action for the change you want to see.
“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in”.
If you want to volunteer, there are several Bay Area volunteer organizations which match your talents and passion to a community need. One such organization is Volunteer Match in San Jose. They have over a 1,000 opportunities to volunteer to use your talents and interests to help others in the community. Your local school may have opportunities to help children read, work in the school library, classroom, or other activities to support literacy or other needs. Places of worship are always connected with their community’s needs.
If you prefer joining a local service organization such as Rotary or Kiwanis, they offer many carefully vetted and very worthwhile volunteer opportunities both locally and world-wide. Being a member in these types of service groups also offer friendship and social activities, blending fun with service.
So, quit talking and do something positive to make a difference–become a world-changer this year.