It may seem that lots of people are very comfortable complaining about what’s going on in the world, but not so comfortable doing something about it. But if you dig deep, you will find a ton of people doing their part – it might just not be publicized. If you are one of those that complain but do nothing, perhaps the following ideas will inspire you to get involved. We are all on our own journey, and inspiration comes at surprising moments in our life. May you enjoy your journey, wherever you may be!
- Considering running for elected office. You can start small – a school board or local city council. There are many resources to support you along the way. Feel free to reach out to me, if you’d like to brainstorm ideas.
- Find your local United Way and search for volunteer opportunities. My local United Way supports a variety of areas – Children & Youth, Helping Families Thrive, People with Disabilities and Seniors, which all offer both volunteer and funding opportunities. If United Way isn’t your thing, search for local agencies that help populations that you support. Animal shelters are also offer great opportunities for those animal lovers out there!
- Random Acts of Kindness (RAK). These can be simple or extravagant. Ideas include baking cookies to take to an elderly neighbor, paying for coffee for the next person in line at the local coffee shop, passing out lollipops to random strangers in the middle of a busy town. Or even more simply, smiling at the cashier at the grocery store and asking how their day is. Genuine kindness goes a long way to someone who is having a rough day.
- Spending time at a local retirement home. Seniors love getting visitors. A few ideas for what to do – manicures for the ladies (or men, if they so choose!), singing / playing piano during recreation time, or just sitting and talking – and learning all about someone that contributed so much in their years. This is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in my life.
- Becoming an advocate for a group that you support. Domestic violence shelters, kids in high-risk environments, CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocates (for children). Speaking on behalf of someone that has no one else is an extremely valuable service, and can be very rewarding, as well.
There are so many more opportunities that I listed here. Please share your experiences and ideas in the comments section below. My personal area of support has been focused on preventing / eliminating Domestic Violence. I begin training to become a counselor / advocate next week, but ultimately I’d like to work toward preventing the behaviors in the first place. Programs like Coaching Boys Into Men is one such preventive program. If you’d like more information, please reach out!