Tuesday, August 15, 2017

5 Ways To Create A Positive Change Today

Change happens when we come together. And right now, more than ever in my lifetime, we need to come together.

"I always knew that deep down in every human heart, there is mercy and generosity. No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."   
-Nelson Mandela

We each are responsible for our own actions and have the opportunity to change ourselves, our family and our community. Imagine if everyone could make that commitment? Only then can we start to change the entire world, one beautiful home at a time.

Here are five small changes to get you started:

  1. Educate Yourself. Let your ego go and stop right fighting. It is hard to fight ignorance with ignorance, so be the person who is actually educated on the cause you are fighting for. I actually spent a lot of time researching neo-Nazis, white supremacists, white nationalists, alt-right, etc. yesterday. (Lord help me if somebody looks into my search history!) But, to me, I want to have an educated opinion if I ever have the opportunity to have a discussion with one of these groups of people. And that goes for anything I am rallying for. If I am trying to fight climate change or help fight the drug epidemic, I need to be knowledgeable to make sure my voice is most effectively heard.
  2. Spread Peace in Small Ways Within Yourself. Set the example. Refrain from gossiping at work and judging people. Don't lose your cool at the guy who cuts you off in traffic. Your children are always watching and absorbing your attitude. Start with the small things and lead by example to be tolerant and forgiving whenever possible. 
  3. Volunteer. Join the school board. Volunteer at a shelter. Help feed meals to the homeless. And if you are driven by a societal problem as well as its symptoms, you might not just help out at a shelter; but you also might advocate for new housing policy. Stand up and do something, anything. So much of contributing politically and civically is local in its nature that is the perfect place to make a change.
  4. Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is. Make sure you are not supporting a business that is run by someone who holds views you are vehemently opposed to. That is downright hypocritical. This goes back to educating yourself: know who you are dealing with. This applies to donating to charities as well. Make sure you know where your money is going by first checking a non-biased site like Charity Navigator, which will spell out exactly where your money is going within the charity. Next, simply make sure their values line up with yours. Are they opposed to gays? Are they a board made up of 100% men? Just be aware that where you spend the mighty dollar sends a message.
  5. Be Kind. That's a given, right? But are you doing it? A lot? Speak with a kind voice (literally and figuratively), let someone in line in front of you, take your new neighbors a bottle of wine, tell a policeman how much you appreciate them... just be kind. This is the first and foremost way we can change the world... let the next generation see that, "Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive." -Dalai Lama
My new mantra is, "When they go low, we go high," and I am determined the hatred can be killed with kindness.

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