Creating change does not come from others. Ben Carson is not the answer to the problems that face this country. Donald Trump will not fix this nation. Go down the list of candidates and politicians and you will not find the answer anywhere in that list.
I understand the desire to find the answer. I watched as the stock market took its death spiral in 2008 and then watched my own income follow suit. As a freelance writer – who had become comfortable and settled in the way things were working – I was not excited about the change.
I recognize the need to get things back on track. Despite an investment in efforts from both sides of our household, the change has not been budging. The more rules and regulations put into place by those trying to “fix things,” the more mountains pop up in the way.
I feel the pain – BELIEVE me, I feel it – of not having the balance, the comfort of a well-backed guardian, or the surety of tomorrow. Despite my own rainbows and lollipops outlook, I feel the pain.
But Ben, Donald, Hillary – not a single one of them is the answer.
Go to the closest mirror and look in there. THERE is the answer.
The only way to heal this country, to fix these problems, and to get things back on track is to start with me.
Ten Things I Can Do Right Now for Change
1. Invest in peace. This will be different for everyone, but I can promise that it does not include reading the scrolling news feed on your social media or your internet. The “news” of today thrives off of the negative and the negative NEVER feeds peace. Find some harmless and hopeful laughter in a show like “Girl Meets World.” Seek out some warmth and connection with family game night or maybe family story time. Reach for that deeper peace by spending time alone, in the quiet, listening to your heart. An investment in peace will allow you to be in a better position to begin healing the world.
2. Seek learning. Get to know the issues for yourself. I appreciate the news media being willing to summarize for me, but that is the opinion of a writer or a reporter. The bills that are being debated are usually available for me to download. The stories that are being shared can be researched to see if they are opinions or facts. And history can teach me as much about the present as a tweet. I should be reading about the past, researching the present, and then forming my own position.
3. Seek understanding. It is not just about the “what” but about the “why” of the situation. I need to see how it fits into my life and my journey. If it does then I invest in it. If it is outside my spectrum then I leave it to others. Too often I invest my resources into things that have nothing to do with me. I need to understand more than the surface if I am going to make a difference in the flow of the stream.
4. Build relationships. EVERYTHING worth doing begins and ends with the relationships around it. If I want to see a change in my neighbors life then I have to know my neighbor to recognize how I can begin working for that change. If I want to see a difference in the way things work then I have to build up relationships with the ones that run the system. I need to connect with others and grow up relationships with others to create a strength that will begin to determine change.
5. Reach out to help. Being compassionate has become the politically correct thing to be – but it does not mean that people understand compassion for what it should be. Compassion seeks to help in the way that best benefits the other person for the long run. I need to be looking for ways I can help others beyond this one moment.
6. Get things in order. A life in chaos will never be in a position to create healing. I need to have my own affairs in order, or at least admit that I need to be working on my own affairs (because admitting is the first step in healing). I need to clear out my schedule, clean up my home, and get my own life moving in a direction of calm. It is not about being perfect but about being willing to take the actions to make things better.
7. Stay alert. The enemy is always on the lookout for a way to distract or derail my journey. It may be something as little as a forgotten payment that causes a late payment to be added to the amount. It may be something as insignificant as a challenge to a pop culture belief that sends me researching the creation of “Under the Dome” and leaves me with one less hour in my day to show for my efforts. It may be something big like the loss of a loved one or a natural disaster. The attacks are always coming so I have to be ever alert and always prepared.
8. Let it go. It is not all about me or what I want or even what I need. Somethings just are – like the ethnic background of a celebrity or spokesperson, the three decades old comments of a want to be politician, or the dress code of a school across the country. Why get into a fight about something that has nothing to do with me in the first place. Walk away. Give it away. Let it go.
9. Accept responsibility. I am where I am right now because I have made the choices that have landed me where I am. It is no more complicated than that. Yes, the choices of others may have compounded the situations, but where I am right now is where I have chosen to be. That hurts to say but once I have made the statement and accepted my responsibility then I am in a place to get over it.
10. Do one thing. It begins with me. I can do one thing right now to begin making things better. It may not be big. You may not even notice the change. But a little thing added to other little things will add up to a big difference.
Stop expecting “them” to fix it. They will always disappoint. Start making the change that you want to live in instead.