Below is a map I created that will hopefully put things into visual perspective for the media hype occurring in our nation.
I want you to ask yourself if you can do anything about any of these events?
For 99.9% of us the answer is NO.
Now ask yourself if you have been kind, nice, an active listener, involved in your neighborhood, church, local government, local youth centers, etc…?
Again, I would venture that I high percentage would have to answer no to this question.
So is the problem what is happening at U.C. Berkley in California or in Kent County, Delaware?
Because as this map above shows, those two places barely register on our national map, but the media would have us believe that what is happening there is what is happening in our community.
Maybe it is, but if you are not involved then you do not know.
Here are a few challenges to you and myself. Let’s be the change we want to see:
- Pick one way to get involved in your local community over the next 3 months. That could be as simple as attending board meetings, or as complex as running an event for the local youth activities center.
- Take time this week to write out what you believe and value. Go one step further and pretend you are on trial for holding your worldview. Can you justify your beliefs? For example, if you believe healthcare is a right, then can you defend why you think it is a right? This would require several things: a) define healthcare and to what extent a person’s right extends to healthcare – 100,000 people might need chemotherapy but there is only enough money to pay for 50,000 – what happens to the rights of the other 50,000? b) define what a right is and where it originates – God? social agreement? it just is? Once you determine why you hold the beliefs and values that you do, then do you still believe them? Make changes in your life to reflect living out your values.
- Learn a skill in the month of February and then teach someone else that skill. For example, if you do not know how to sew then find a way to learn how to sew and then teach a family member, a youth from church or that activity center where you just volunteered. Never sharpened a knife before? No time like the present to learn. Try to make the skill something that would be beneficial if electricity suddenly disappeared. Do this 6 times throughout the year. One month is learning the skill, the next month is teaching it.
- Pick a topic like climate change, homosexuality, sexual birth defects, evolution. Something that is awkward to talk about with people that believe differently than you do. Now learn about it. If you believe climate change is just a natural pattern of earth’s cycles then read the evidence for and against it. Not sure where you stand on homosexuality then learn philosophically and theologically where you stand and why. The point to this exercise is justification of belief coupled with the ability to talk about the topic without getting angry.
- Learn about our prison system, how it works, how the courts work, and what punishments are allowed for offenses inside state and federal prisons. Look at solitary confinement and the psychological effects of this punishment. Is it rehabilitative at all? What are the merits for it and what reforms to our prison system should we be asking lawmakers to implement? Once you know, write your congressman or woman and senators. Follow up with them until they get you solid answers for what their plan is or what committee is responsible for prison reform.
What other challenges can you come up with that will provide constructive input into our society?
Thanks for reading. Remember, don’t let the media determine what happens in your community’s attitudes and perceptions. Build relationships that create a shared future. It may not be unified, but surely it will be better than destroying one another with our words and eventually violence.
Love you all,