Stop it, America. Just STOP IT.
America. *smh* In light of the the most recent acts of indecency and discrimination in Charlottesville, VA, I’ve seen it all come back out of the woodwork. People shaming, placing blame and answering hate with more hate. I have seen people sharing one article after another from multiple media outlets, both mainstream and otherwise. Titles such as, “Here’s the Inside Scoop on the Attack in Charlottesville!” and “Watch the Full Episode of the Attack Here!” and “First Hand Look at the Violence that Unfolded”. Let’s go ahead and set this straight for those that don’t realize it….this isn’t a Hollywood movie, it’s someone’s LIFE. Many lives in fact. In addition to the sharing of these articles everyone says things like “So sad!” and “This Breaks My Heart”. It breaks my heart too, so what are we doing about it???
You say, “Well…we are protesting of course.” Great! I would never tread on anyone’s right to PEACEFUL assembly. However, protests are no longer protests when people get hurt. And they are no longer protests when you are destroying cars, buildings, historic monuments and beating people with rocks and picket signs. It is now a mob of delusional, angry aggressors that need a time out.
So one of my favorite quotes that floats around every so often says if you want to SEE a difference, first you need to BE the difference. So I developed this “13 Ways” Challenge to exhibit a positive response in the communities around us. This should not matter what color your skin is, what candidate you voted for or what political party you back. If there is one thing that I know all of America can agree on it’s that we need reformation.
13 Ways to Fight for Change
- WRITE A LETTER: Write a letter or an email to a local media outlet of your choice. If you’re feeling ambitious, write to all of them! Let them know that you would like to see a positive change in your community and that they can help. Ask them to tell more stories of the good things done in America. Ask them not to glamorize behavior or actions that are based on hatred, racism, prejudice, etc. Remind them that you are their supporting foundation. However, please do so respectful and professional manner. People respond to positive actions and that’s what we want to see.
- SHARE 3 GOOD THINGS: Our social media pages are absolutely RIDDLED with anger, discrimination and stories that make hateful people infamous. Today, seek out at least 3 stories that will remind people of the good that still exists in humanity. Or share 3 examples of a personal experience that exhibited positive behaviors. We want to flood our country with love and goodness. People that spread hate do not deserve attention.
- BUILD SOMEONE UP: Sometimes we get so caught up with our own lives that we fail to realize when those around us are struggling. Be it a friend, family member, coworker or stranger….take a few minutes out of your day to tell someone they are awesome. Thank them for the work they do. Tell them their hair is on POINT today. Or sometimes people just need a listening ear. It really doesn’t matter how big or small….just try to be the reason that one person smiled today.
- ATTEND A MEETING: Today, try to make plans to be at the next town hall meeting. Most towns hold them at least once a month. This is where we can make a significant change. You can attend just to listen and learn what is taking place in your community, or if there is something you would like to see changed, write a compelling point and ask to speak. Be polite, be calm and be open to hearing those who disagree with you. You can’t expect them to listen to you if you aren’t willing to listen to them. And remember that people respond to positivism.
- GOOD DEED: Good deed of the day. When you are out and about today and doing your thing, look for a way to help someone. Carry someone’s groceries, let someone cut you in line, buy someone a coffee, help someone with their work…do what you can. It won’t just make their day, but it will make yours as well.
- MAKE COOKIES: It doesn’t really matter who you make them for. And it doesn’t necessarily need to be cookies. Make a treat for a coworker, your boss, your neighbor, your pastor…..it can be anyone. Sometimes people need reminding that they are important to you and appreciated. We live in a time when people no longer go out of their way to do something so simple for someone just to show they care.
- READ A BOOK: Read a book to your children about another culture or group of people. Teach them about the beauty of the diversity that God made! If you don’t have children read a book or article for yourself! There are literally THOUSANDS to choose from!
- SHARE A COAT: It’s getting close to chilly days again. If you have coats in your closet that you no longer wear, take them to a donation drop box or donate somewhere local that has the means to distribute. Or if you are a little more “face to face” take some coats and pass them out to those that will be on the streets this winter.
- GIVE A NOTE: Go out and get a pack of blank note cards. It doesn’t have to be expensive, the dollar store carries them, and write something encouraging on each one, maybe a scripture or just a positive thought. Carry them with you when you go out and if you see someone that might need a smile…give one out! This has happened to me several times and has really made my day. A lady even once left a gift card for groceries not knowing HOW MUCH I was hurting at the time.
- WRITE A CONGRESSMAN: Call me old fashioned….but I still believe that emails, but especially letters have an impact. It gets a little more attention when you know that someone sat down long enough to physically write out thoughts or requests. If you have something to suggest, do so in a kind way and stick it in the mail. What do you have to lose?
- VOLUNTEER: Volunteers are getting harder and harder to come by, and there are SO many ways to do it. If you are retired and have the time, you can volunteer at local hospitals! Hospitals are always looking for someone with a kind smile and warm heart to make them feel more at ease in a difficult situation. Or you can volunteer on a short term basis with different organizations such as the Special Olympics, Community clean-up, homeless shelters, women’s centers, animal shelters and more. Figure out where your heart lies and try it out! I know they would be grateful to have you!
- PAY IT FORWARD: Have you ever been in a drive through line and had your meal paid for by a stranger? Or maybe your groceries? A lot of us haven’t….but when someone does something like that it can change a person’s entire week. You just NEVER know the affect it might have. If you are in a position where you can spare a little to help someone out, do so every now and then. God will bless those who do for others.
- VISIT A NURSING HOME: It might sound crazy to some these days but believe it or not we can learn something from those that have been around the block a few times. And you won’t be just blessing their day…but they will be blessing yours.
These are just small steps to becoming better people and a better America. The biggest thing we can do that will render the most results is to PRAY. The power of prayer is mighty. God has America in the palm of his hand and we must remind ourselves daily that HE is in control!
BLESSINGS TO YOU ALL!