In today’s climate, it is clear that people want to shift “what is”, but first let’s ask – what exactly is the change we want to create, and how can we truly make it happen?
This answer of course varies, but what I’ve noticed is how exciting the conversation for change can be at first, and then takes a turn towards overwhelm and disempowerment when the thought “what can I do” comes up.
We’ve all felt that. But to answer the question, you really have to begin by asking yourself how you want to show up for the change that you hope to see.
Do you have an idea as to how you will quelch that inner thirst to create change? Or are you frustrated because you want to do something, but just not sure what to do, where to begin, and how to do it?
Well, here’s the great news – the fact that you have an inner pull to do something is actually where it all begins. Now you simply need to follow that feeling to where it leads you. But it needs your help.
The truth is that every activist I know has been where you are, including myself, (honestly, I still find myself there sometimes, when I am considering taking on a new issue).
It is something that actually comes up ALL the time for people. At my events I usually hear the same hold ups like:
“I’ve been wanting to do ______, but feel like I can’t really change it”;
“The issue is too big and I can’t do it alone”;
“I really want to make a difference, but have no time!”
I totally get it. That’s because I once said the same thing (and still do when it comes to the “no time” conversation).
In my previous post, I shared how I brought balance into my family life, by honoring my own personal need to make a difference in our world.
I also promised that this week I would offer simple ways to bring this into your life, so that you too can leave your mark for your child’s future.
It is actually not as hard as we tell ourselves it is. You don’t have to solve world hunger and create peace – although if this is what you want to do, it is best to start at the local level. There’s much going on in your own community and State that needs attention.
All you need to do is take that first step, and show up for whatever it is that you want to take on.
By simply picking one topic that you would like to see improvement in.
I know there are many issues that irk you, and you would like to change so much of what is going on out there. For now…just pick one, so that you don’t dive into overwhelm and you make yourself drop it all before you even begin.
Like anything else, start simple and small, so that you keep yourself in the game – you will grow from there.
So, pick your one topic, and take these simple actionable steps to get started!
5 Easy Ways to Begin Making a Difference in Your Community
- Find a group or organization that is like-minded that you can join or volunteer for.
This will connect you with a group that is already in action about the issue you’re hoping to improve. You will also meet like-minded people with the same goals and passions, which will make you part of a community. This alleviates the “I can’t do it alone” hold up. You will begin to feel more “normal” about your choices and what you would like to create. It also feels empowering because you are within a group that is making a difference, and it needs your help to go bigger. You will also gain experience, tools and knowledge in this area, and eventually you can do much more, and choose what your next step will be. This group can be as simple as a parent group that supports your lifestyle (which also helps make a difference by raising awareness, consumer voting, etc.). Or it can be an organization that improves the community and world in a more actionable way.
2. Get to know your local representatives
These are the people that you voted in to represent your voice, your concerns, and to improve your community. They are paid by your tax money, and would like to hear from you. Stop by (solo or with a few friends) with a cup of coffee and introduce yourself. Let them know you would like to grow a relationship with them. This way, the next time there is a concern, your lines of friendly communication are already opened, and you are being heard. Politicians will take you very seriously if you take the time to stop into their office, and if you take the time to voice community concerns. Again, this is what you pay them for, and it is important to use their services. And more importantly – these are the people that create your laws (way before the president – it starts at a community level).
3. Bring Awareness to the Neighborhood
If you would like to change something…like food in the school cafeteria, it may require bringing awareness and educating the community about why you feel this is important. It is very likely that its been a certain way for a long time, because noone thinks anything is wrong with the food. Plan a screening of a documentary. This keeps you out of the conversation (at first), and leaves the experts speak to everyone. You can host it in your home, the local library, or in the school itself, and then market it like crazy everywhere. It may take a few screenings and a few months of bringing awareness to the issue, but eventually, you may have a group of people that want to join your goal to improve the food (or whatever topic). The bigger the group, the more you will be “heard” by those that can implement the change your hoping for.
4. Join Communities on Social Media
Once you explored what you want to take on, search for social media communities that you can join that share your interest. You can exchange thoughts, information, find out about local events, sign petitions, join rallys, attend screenings, meetings and so much more. It is a very easy way to activate, network, be up to date on what’s happening on your topic, and simply feel understood.
5. Discover Your Skills
As you begin to get involved on what you wish to improve, you slowly realize what your skills are, what you can offer, and what you enjoy doing. If you joined an organization, you may prefer to do administrative or tech work; or organize; be out on the field; lobby; speak; meet the community; take the lead in your region; help children and families; create children events to inspire their activism – really its endless, and you get the idea. You can only figure this out if you are in the game though, and actually exploring who you are and what role you wish to play in improving the topic your passionate about.
These 5 ways are a great starting point, and I hope to offer a free e-book that goes into much more detail for active parents that wish to answer their inner calling, and make an impact for the upcoming generation.
Our children need our encouragement and our attention to guide their desire to take action, and participate in global improvement. It’s really up to us.
By doing our part to contribute, we demonstrate what it means to care about each other, our community, and our world. We also inspire them to do the same for their own future, and know that it requires each and every one of us to make an impact.
And with that being said, a quote is being called in…
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~ Anne Frank
In the end, volunteering can be rewarding in many ways as it enhances ones sense of belonging, increases your sense of purpose, and it reminds you of just how important you and your actions are when it comes to making a difference.
If you’re already changing things up, I’d love to hear about what you’re up to.
Are you doing something in your community that’s worth sharing? Have any experience with any of the activities from the list?
Take action by inspiring others with your comments and sharing. Thanks so much for showing up to improve your community and our world!
With much joy and love,