Wednesday, January 28, 2009

how to give: bumper cars

I liken us to bumper week and one day later after Barack Obama was sworn into office and asked, implored, challenged us all to 'get busy' and rebuild this country. 'Get busy' and get to giving. The response after that week, from my perspective, and in my community and watching everything that I can, is everyone is freaking out...what do I do? How do I make a difference? How can I do something, when I have so little and am losing my job? Many of us are altruistic bumper cars: tons of energy, explosive electric currents, with pliable exteriors and bumping into one another and bouncing off one another in the effort to figure out how to do that....make a difference. Be something in this country and during this historic administration that leaves a mark, whether it's in our community, town, city, state and country. Not to mention the world. It can be overwhelming. But when it gets to be too much I say to myself and to you get back to basics. Start small.

On my walk today with my dogs (we have three now) I came to the realization that we can give in so many ways. Here are few...
1) Give money. Even if it's 10 bucks to your favorite charity. Every little bit helps. I know. I know. We are all hurting financially now or we are in a financial shift. Which is the time to give more. It will come back to you some way. Somehow.
2) Pick one or two foundations that you are going to support. (There's so many ways to give and donate, if you narrow down your focus your energy will be better spent)
3) Pick up a piece of trash on your street. And if you see someone litter, well don't yell at them, I have found this doesn't work. Pick up the trash for them and give him that look, that your mother might have given you when you did something you knew was wrong. In other words, don't let someone get away with littering. It is a weird insidious habit that is formed by laziness and it is my belief that most people don't want to litter they are just lazy and ignorant.
4) Bring canvas bags to the grocery store (I forgot mine today and between guilt and stuffing way too much into a plastic bag that broke on my way out of the store I was reminded that even if I don't have it in the's worth running out, having people wait an extra two minutes, and getting the darn bag from the car.
5) Remember everyone you come in contact with is in need of being "seen" and "heard". Ask them how they are doing and listen.
6) Turn off your lights.
7) Embrace gratitude for all that you have. That will give you energy and remind you to give even when you don't think you can.

One of the most important things that I learned by publishing my book, was that healing begins by giving to others. It is a running theme that I was astounded by and am working towards everyday. Give to others. It will heal you.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Gandhi

1 comment:

  1. How can we make a difference? Check out how educators and their students are making a difference. Link : Service Education allows students to learn about 'giving back'. Cheers Nina
    I don't know how I found this post, but I'm glad I did.