Who has the time to stay involved, what with the kids and the work and the new season of Game of Thrones (Sunday SUNDAY SUNDAY!)?
It can be so easy to lose touch with your community, to allow your government to chug on without so much as a a glance, to stay in your head, in your home, in your bubble. I mean, come on, everything still seems to be working without you, right?
That charity down the street? Their still going with only my occasional donation check. They really don't need my personal involvement.
My government? Man, who wants that?! Have you seen what those politician go through? Have you seen who those politicians are (man, jerks, am I right)? And, besides, I vote. You know, in the major elections. Well, mostly, when it's on TV a lot. And look, the government is still there. They don't need me. That's why I pay taxes...the ones my accountant says I have to.
And what could I do, anyway? The world has a lot of problems and most of them are above my pay-grade. I don't know how to stop hunger or cure cancer. Besides, I clicked that thing on Facebook. I've got that ribbon on my car.
Yes, it's very easy to slip into your comfortable bubble and allow the world to continue around you, with minimal activism. Every single one of us has an inclination to run home to family, friends and fun after work, leaving the problems of the world to others. But that's not how it works, is it?
The world will find it's way into our lives.
Look at the events in Newtown, Connecticut. Across the nation, we were all affected, on all lines of all beliefs and politics. As parents. As gun owners. As humans. No single person went through their day unaffected and no person could afford to remain silent. Even if your opinion after Newtown is to change nothing, you couldn't afford to remain silent because people were moving to do just the opposite.
I'm not here to direct you toward a particular political belief. I'm not here to guilt you or call you a lazy, uninvolved sack of skin and guts (that would be rude and anatomically incorrect).
But I am here to tell you that the world does affect you. The world will come into your home. And that you can affect the world. That the world can be a better place, a stronger community...we just need you to join us.
Hey Justin, you've convinced me, but now what?
Oh man, the choices.
We don't all have the knowledge to cure a disease or figure out how to funnel money properly to rebuild Haiti. We don't all have the time to sit on a board or run for an office.
But what about, once a month, reading to child (call your schools...no really, call them.)?
How about writing your government? Maybe you can't be one of them, but you can make sure they know how you feel and how you'll vote (more on that in a following post).
What about going to your local volunteer center (they have those, it's like a mall, but with charities instead of stores) and giving up a few hours from time to time?
Or make your own cause...I was with a family member in the hospital the other day and I was thinking how much better he'd look if only he could have a shave...it would make him feel better, it would make him look better (in turn, possibly making family and hospital staff have better unconscious positive ideas about his progress). So I'm seeing how possible it would be to gather some barbers and go to local hospitals to offer free shaves. Simple! Cheap! Yet, possibly very effective!
My point is, it's your world. Be more than a consumer. Be a maker. Be a member.
Together we rise.