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  • michelle m. davis

What Good Shall I Do This Day?

“The world is changed by your example, not your opinion.”

Paul Coehlo

Instead of continually sharing your opinions and relying on others to fix our problems, step up and be an agent of change. Do your part to make the world a better place. For our productive behaviors hold much greater weight than our critical words.

So often, we complain about what is wrong with society, feeling as though we have no ability to impact our environment. Out of frustration, we wave a white flag in defeat of our potential to create change, instead attaching all power for progress onto others. Perhaps we assume that political leaders and highly influential people hold the keys to eliminating today’s ills. While they can absolutely create policies to impact change, sometimes it is us - individual citizens - who can most profoundly improve our communities.

Take a moment to imagine what tomorrow might look like if we all committed to give our time, energy, and resources to make the world a better place. If just a fraction of the population was to pledge support, the effect would be felt immediately.

“But, what can I do in the midst of this pandemic?”

"How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world."

Anne Frank

If we can go to the grocery store, shop at Home Depot, and hike in nature, we definitely have the ability to improve our environment through acts of conscious giving. Whether it be through a “hands-on” experience or from your home, there are numerous ways to make an impact. So, forget the excuses and make a commitment. Lead by your example, not solely your opinion.

No doubt, there are amazing opportunities available to improve your immediate and encompassing environments. The sky is the limit. But if you’re having some trouble thinking of what to do, here are some suggestions:

1. Clean up a park. Pick up trash, pull weeds, enhance an outdoor space that brings others pleasure. This could be great as a group or solo project. No props needed… just grab a trash bag, put on some gloves, and get to work!

2. Call, email, or write a letter to someone who is currently isolated. Imagine how lonely he or she may feel. Just hearing from another may brighten this person’s day. Share what you’re doing, stay positive, and lift another’s spirits.

3. Reach out to local organizations and ask about their needs. We can assume these groups aren’t accepting volunteers; however, there may be opportunities that we have not anticipated. Remember, you can always offer to make a financial contribution if you’re concerned exposure during about COVID-19.

4. Since many parents are working remotely from home, see if a friend would like some help with his or her kids. Take the children to the park, go on a hike, or find another activity that will give the parents a break and get you and the kids into fresh air.

5. Are you academically inclined? If so, there may be a way to assist children who are learning virtually from their homes. I can only imagine how difficult it is to have kids trying to learn on-line while parents are working in the next room.

6. Reach out to your place of worship. Perhaps there are members who are currently isolated at home. See if you can drop off groceries, take care of their yard, walk their dog, or offer other services.

7. Write an email to your local politician, sharing your concerns and asking for their support. If you are inclined, organize a group of individuals to do the same.

8. Have a conversation with someone you care for about racism. Talk. Listen. Help one another grow in the understanding of systemic injustices. Vow to make any necessary shifts in order to make the world a better place. And while you’re at it, perhaps visit a few other topics. We have a lot to fix. But, let’s not condemn those around us may have different views. Instead, have the difficult talks with those we love.

Two more thing…

In your quest for change, remember to be “pro_______,” not “anti-__________.” Protest… don’t cause unrest. Support a candidate… avoid condemning another. Believe in a cause… refrain from denouncing one. For it is through the positive, the affirmative, the high vibrational behavior that we enact change. Damning, blaming, or shaming another never ends well.

Additionally, allow people their beliefs, accepting that many, including those you dearly love, will have views that differ from yours. These past months, I’ve witnessed friends and family members drift apart solely due to political views. Who we vote for should not determine whether or not we are “worthy” of another’s love or friendship. We each have the right to choose. Let’s respect the humanity in each other and know when to put politics aside. Sometimes we just have to agree to disagree.

Regardless of who wins this upcoming election, I am vowing to wake up the next day and pray for the incoming president. Because if the president does well, then the country has a better chance of flourishing. Yet, I know that I will not depend on him to make all of the necessary changes happen. I will own my piece, and I will do my best to make a difference.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers

– so many caring people in this world.”

Mr. Rogers

Be a helper. Volunteer. Beautify our parks. Reach out to a neighbor. Be the light that our world so desperately yearns for.


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