One of the last times I attended church, I was dismayed by one of the deacons/elders proudly exclaiming that he gave lots of money to charities and that was all he was required and convicted to do as a Christian. He went on to say that Jesus wasn’t political and citizenship didn’t require any more of him than his comfortable middle class life allowed.
I stared at him with my mouth open. Nothing I could think of to say mattered or would change his mind.
I realize this attitude is common in the church. No one wants to get his hands dirty or actually work for justice. They don’t even realize injustice exists since they are protected in their privileged lives. Some people seem to think that injustice is just something in movies or made up for sensationalism in the news. It doesn’t affect them in any way. They shake their heads at people who somehow cause their own problems instead of seeing the systematic injustices for what they are.
The last few years have been hard.
The news has been awful.
We are living in a time of continuous war, pandemic, an attempted coup, domestic violence, racism, and child abuse.
Most people just shake their heads and nothing affects them. They are desensitized. They are untouched.
Yes, some are simply surviving. Many have taken a financial downturn or have health issues and it’s reasonable to take some time to cocoon and rest and hopefully emerge triumphant later.
But there’s almost always something we can do to improve the world we live in.
What can we do?
What bothers you?
It’s easy to be a social media warrior or armchair activist. Too many want to be performative in their charitable activities, taking selfies while donating or providing a service.
If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.
Sit and seethe and learn from your feelings, especially the feelings deemed wrong or negative by caregivers and authority figures when we were growing up.
Ask questions of your soul about how your religion alienates and ostracizes others who might look or live or pray differently than you do.
What do you think needs to change?
Where does your heart, passion, talent lie?
What can I do where I am?
Read, read, read. Find book lists of authors of color, LGBTQA+, those who survived poverty, mental illness, or war, anyone different than you. Internalize their struggle and experiences. Realize your privilege.
Follow people different than you on social media and watch, read, listen. Don’t feel the need to comment in outrage, sadness, or solidarity. That is not for you.
Start making friends with people who look or live differently than you do.
There are lots of opportunities for volunteering. You can start small. Give an hour. Let your children help or see you.
There are lots of needs in our parks and public communities, schools, libraries, women’s centers, shelters for the unhoused, your workplace.
Look at the organization’s purpose and vision to determine if it fits your beliefs and values.
Join a peaceful protest in your community, city, school, or workplace.
Yes, there could be potential consequences. Plan accordingly.
What are you willing to risk?
Learn about how local, state, and federal government decisions affect you and your children and neighbors.
Be a concerned citizen.
Attend community and city meetings.
Write to local leaders.
Write to your Congress people.
You don’t get to complain for not knowing the facts or not making a difference.
Yes, it’s good to donate, but do so mindfully and intelligently.
Look at the organization and make sure the people they claim to help actually receive the assistance they need and not so much the CEOs making the big bucks.
Also, look at where you use your money and why. Spend more wisely. There are lots of great companies that have better products and pay better wages to their employees and treat their customers and employees better than the huge conglomerates where you’re just a number. We use the Buycott app to choose better products when we’re shopping. We can slowly change our habits to get better sourced chocolate and coffee, more sustainable clothing and cleaning supplies.
What will you do?
There’s a lot we can do other than doomscrolling and lamenting the state of the country and world.
We can begin by being mindful where we spend our money and how we spend our time. We can learn about the world and how we can improve conditions for everyone.
We live in the dumbest dystopia where people on social media are casting movies about wars while they are taking place. I am tired of fragile white men cry about beer and wanting to continue to abuse women and revel in their toxicity.
It’s frustrating that most of our news comes from companies owned by billionaires who just want to rule the world and have all the power with none of the responsibility.
Linking up: A Pinch of Joy, House on Silverado, Grammy’s Grid, April Harris, Anita Ojeda, Random Musings, Uncommon Surburbia, Mostly Blogging, Create with Joy, Eclectic Red Barn, Stroll Thru Life, Shelbee on the Edge, LouLou Girls, God’s Growing Garden, InstaEncouragements, Jeanne Takenaka, Jenerally Informed, Anchored Abode, Ridge Haven Homestead, Ducks in a Row, Fluster Buster, Imparting Grace, Slices of Life, Artful Mom, Try it Like it, Good Random Fun, LEO Wife, Simply Beautiful, Modern Monticello, Answer is Chocolate, Bijou Life, Lauren Sparks, CWJ, Pieced Pastimes, Momfessionals, OMHG,