I, like many others, have been in shock over the past few days.
This post is not to tell anyone to “get over” their emotions or feelings. I encourage everyone to feel the shock, anger and whatever other emotions that come.What I do want to encourage you to do is to tap into those emotions and do something constructive and positive.
Please do not think that you can not have a voice in regards to what is going to happen over the next four years. Please do not think that you can not have an affect in the actions that you take or don’t take.
The reality is, I live in a state where only 59% of the registered voters voted. Across the United States preliminary estimates are that only 56% of registered voters voted on Tuesday. This means that over 40% of individuals did not exercise their given right. The main reasons individuals provide for not voting are lack of interest and a dislike for the candidate.
Today I want to provide you with suggestions on how you can impact and change the world you live in.
Know who your elected officials are in your hometown, state, and Washington DC. Contact them via email and phone in regards to issues and concerns that you have in your area. These individuals represent your area. Become that squeaky wheel, whether it is about your street not having proper lighting or your concerns on a piece of legislation that involves health care.
I reguarly send emails to my representatives in regards to issues concerning healthcare and hospice care. I have attended and lobbied at my state capital for domestic violence legislation. Being a presence about issues does have an impact and can change an official’s viewpoint.
Go beyond the click bait articles in your social media feed and educate yourself on issues. Follow legitimate news sources and be aware that most media will have a slight bias in one direction or the other. Perhaps read articles from two different viewpoints. Be able to speak about your beliefs and causes from an educated and intellectual viewpoint. Please don’t say “I read on Twitter or Facebook.”
Support Causes You are Concerned About
This past election has many individuals discussing sexual assault and immigration. There are national, state and local agencies working on a daily basis to assist victims and also advocate for laws. These agencies need financial support. Make a pledge to yourself to regularly support a cause that is important to you. Agencies to consider include RAINN, a national anti- sexual violence association and the National Center on Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence. If you feel strongly in regards to immigration, find your local agency that assists with helping immigrants to relocate.
Get up from your computer and provide volunteer hours to a school or other agency. Although I do believe that writing is inspiration and an important way to create change, we all need personal interaction. In December, I am a running buddy with Girls On The Run. This is a program for elementary school girls that focuses upon self esteem and regular exercise. Although I can not do weekly meetings, I can support a girl who does not have a family member to be with her at the race.
Volunteer for programs that are against bullying. Serve at your local food pantry at times other than the holidays. We learn more about causes when we walk with them.
Be An Example
Live a life where one can look at you and say that you practice what you preach. Children are not only watching but adults are also.
Each of us are human. We make mistakes, we say things we should not. However, if you are regularly trying to be supportive of those around you, inspiring with your words and living a positive life, others will recognize it. Don’t sink to the level of those who sling words, are hateful and simply mean. If more of us were willing to stop stereotyping, become involved and educated, we begin to change the world around us.
These are only a small example of ways we can each change the world.I read other great suggestions such as supporting small business owned by immigrants or those in the LGBT community. It is important that we each realize we owe it to each other to speak out and be heard. Small actions can and do lead to significant changes.
How are you changing the world you live in?