Your Voice Counts
The news is mostly full of devastating and heartbreaking updates of the horrible happenings of our times. The range of disasters are so vast that the state of humanity and the planet can feel so overwhelming. The non-stop helpless inducing visuals can be debilitating. At times I've avoided social and news media to take breaks from piling on the innumerable reasons to be concerned and sad. Sometimes it is just too heavy to be functional and well that’s not exactly helpful. Obviously ignoring it is not helping either. And I’m not sure which felt worse; seeing/hearing about the depressing circumstances, or avoiding it. I had to find a solution in order to not feel doomed whether I saw it or not. Simply wishing things would improve while doing not much about it, was officially no longer an option. I've noticed that although many topics would hurt to watch or read about, a few would sting extra because of personal experiences and/or the certainty I could be doing more about it. Over the past 5+ years, I would feel this way about three topics in particular. I decided those would be the areas that I would actively try to make a difference about at the very least in my personal life and ideally a greater impact in the community and world. I signed up for email notifications from a handful of organizations fighting for those particular causes to stay informed; on petitions, on when emails to Congress needed to be sent, good options on how to support financially and even how to better understand the often confusing language during elections. This was especially beneficial in the last election when a few bills sounded in favor of desired changes but according to the organizations that work so hard to fight the problems explained why in fact it was deceiving and would hurt the cause long term. Yes, tricky, and confusing. Only more reason it is crucial to be in the know as best as possible. Choosing three things to actively participate in didn’t make the other things less hard to watch but made me feel less helpless overall. I am bringing this up to suggest and encourage you, if you're not already, to do this for at least one thing that your concerned about. Choose at least one cause that you are proactive about. Once cause you get emails about by a few trusted organizations to stay updated, one cause you contribute a monthly donation of $5 to or whatever and however you can participate. One, just one cause. If you are already doing that, I’d also like to encourage you to share the information your receiving or participating in with your friends and/or family. When you share the information you help remind others, or inform others and encourage them to participate as well. I personally love seeing all the story shares by my IG friends about causes that need attention. Realistically how else would we know about many of the concerns outside of our immediate community and the potential solutions without that? We need each other in order to see the changes we'd love to see. If everyone addresses their one cause in the way that they can, imagine what would get accomplished in each area of need! All while diminishing the collective heartbreak that is happening as well.
Start small. However you can. When you start small, you exercise the ability to make a difference. Then when you get the follow up email from your signed petition that says you helped make a difference because the law or policy had changed as a result, you see that your seconds (literally seconds) of participation does makes a difference! When you exercise that ‘make a difference’ muscle, before you know it you are buff on helpfulness and progress has strengthened to show for it.