Be The Change

Skating Uphill
Judith Lawrenson
December Issue

You know that the whole quote is “Be the change you want to see in the world,” which actually makes it MUCH harder!

The Uphill Skater

Honestly, Elizabeth Millen our darling editor/publisher comes up with the best themes for PINK. What a challenge to actually bring home something as broad yet right to the point as one person making a change in the world and, whoa, having that person perhaps be YOU!!!

I am just kidding-I can think of many ways we can make meaningful changes in our surroundings and if we look at the small view of say writing a check to an organization even that has its place in betterment. As you sit and read this article, look at yourself-actually see yourself. Are you thinking that there is not much just little you can do to make a dent in the big wide world? Think again.

Do you have an extra pocket book or two floating around your closet? Go down to the Dollar Store or Wal-Mart and buy some feminine hygiene items, a wash cloth, a pair of socks, some lipstick, a pair of underpants and a t-shirt, and stuff like that. Add a $5 certificate for a fast food restaurant and give it to a homeless woman. If you can’t find one, go to your local shelter or better yet, go to a local church that has meals for the homeless. Believe me, you will be shocked at how easy it is to find a homeless woman and statistically, she will be over 50. Do you believe that. It makes you want to cry, doesn’t it?
PS-Go in person!

Next, I am asking you to “stand your ground.” You have opinions and emotions and strong feelings about many things. Examine those feelings and think carefully what threatens your convictions to those thoughts and ideas. Fight them. Think your own thoughts and act on them. Don’t let others deter you from your ideals. Is something happening in your job or life to you or someone else you care about? Do you see a big injustice or better yet, a little one? Step up. Little hurts and unfair acts are only little to the person who is not involved in it. Remember that.

See a need and fill it. Man, this is an easy one. I have a dear friend who was a victim of sexual assault when she was young. She is African American. She was moved by an article she read in her newspaper about a rape victim who was a visitor to her town and knew no one. My friend went to the hospital to see her and was denied admittance because she had no training to handle this type of situation. Give up? Not on your life. She went to the Rape Crisis Center and took the three month training course and began to advocate in her local hospital and began to visit victims. This is the heart part of this story: In almost every instance the victim was Black. In every instance she and the victim were the only African Americans in the room. Nurses, doctors, even aids and pastors were white as snow. Just imagine how a victim of abuse would feel seeing not only a sister, but finding out that her visitor was a real sister not just in color, but so much more importantly, in life experiences. See a need and fill it.

My favorite #Be the Change is the easiest and potentially the most fun. Tutor or mentor a child. Oh, poor you. You don’t need a child who may need you-Are you kidding me??? Go to your local Boys and Girls Club. Go to your local elementary School. Ask at the library. Ask a Sunday School teacher. Come on, no excuses on this one. Children who need academic help, a warm coat, a backpack of food to take home over the weekend, a friend and on and on. I go into my grandson’s Pre-K classroom once a week and it was easy to spot the little girl who needed help. Now when I go to read I spend 15 minutes with her afterward. It has been so good for me-never mind good for her, ladies. When you help someone on a face to face basis, it is just as good for you as it is for the child you are

Finally, do a thing that you know needs to be done. I can’t tell you what it is. Maybe something in a neighbor’s yard. Maybe a bag of food on a doorstep. Maybe a coat for a child you see in the classroom where you volunteer. Maybe something as simple as a phone call to a shut-in. If you think that things like this don’t change the world, you are dead wrong. These, in fact, are the only things that are going to change the world. In the process and as an unforeseen side effect, you will be changed too. Trust me on this!

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