People don't like Hillary. People don't like Trump. People are angered and scared because Trump was elected to be our next president. But here's the thing... The future of our country does not solely depend on the man or woman representing us as president. Now I'm not clueless, and I know the president has influence over policies and people, but there is so much more to our country than what happens in the White House.
We need stop and think about what complaining and pointing fingers is really going to accomplish. There are things we can all do, no matter how small, to strengthen and improve our nation community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood. So rather than complaining about what is no longer in our control, here are some real world ways you can take initiative to make change in our nation:
Volunteer at a low-income school.
Many of the students at these schools are often facing poverty, challenges at home, and lack of guidance from adults who place value in an education. Furthermore, many of these schools lack the resources they need to help every child in the best way they can. Volunteer to read books, do activities, or just be a positive role model for a couple of students. The school and the children will appreciate you.
Join a Big Brothers Big Sisters program and instill positive values in today's youth.
If you really want to change the life of a young U.S. citizen, be their big brother or big sister! The Big Brothers Big Sisters program connects positive adult role models with children who will benefit tremendously from some extra individualized attention.
Americorps is the national version of the Peace Corps, connecting U.S. citizens from all walks of life to have a positive impact on the country. From disaster relief to education, to the environment, Americorps volunteers are certainly making a difference!
Organize a book or canned food drive for your community.
This can be done through a college, church group, or other community organization. Books and food are both attributed to healthy bodies and minds. Many families and groups can benefit from such drives.
Organize a neighborhood trash clean-up.
This one is easy! Grab your neighbors, some plastic gloves, and some trash bags. A clean neighborhood shows that the community cares, and this sense of support and care can really go a long way. Cleaning trash, of course, is also great for our environment!
Take time to understand someone whose ideas are different from your own.
Know of someone from a different culture, political party, or religion? Instead of making judgements, make an effort to walk in their shoes and see why they believe what they do. Regardless of whether or not you agree, understanding and respect will heighten acceptance and support.
Be a voice for the people who don't have one, or who are afraid to speak up.
There are minorities, women, immigrants, and refugees who are fearful to speak out against injustice in various areas of our nation. Those of us who have privilege need to use it. We need to be heard through letters to editors, petitions to local officials, rallies, and our daily interactions with the people in our lives.
To summarize, I am not disappointed in our nation. I am disappointed in the people who are forgetting that the future is in ALL of our hands. One of my favorite quotes by Margaret Mead states, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." The person in office does not change what we can choose to do or not to do to improve our nation one step at a time. Remember, actions always speak louder than words.Now go out and make a difference!