I’ve been taking mental notes of talk that puts my mind into a negative or an overwhelmed and hopeless place. Most of the time it’s discussions about something I can’t control, and I don’t like, or things that make me sad. Talking about issues that make you feel small and helpless can make you crazy. It can raise your blood pressure and it can causes stress. And even worse, once you’re finished with the conversations, nothing has changed for the better.
It seems this is time of year we are frequently reminded of the hungry, even though people are hungry every day. We are informed that some people don’t have heat, homes, or even shelter. We can read about countries withholding clean drinkable water as a means of political control and we see images of hungry babies. All these horrible scenes play out everyday of the year.
So why do I do it? Why do I allow myself to go there? Why? I do it because I want “it” to change for the better. I want the world to get better. I want wrongs to be righted. I want life to be better for everyone. But I know talk is cheap and I know I can’t change the world. There are just so many different areas that need fixing. It is entirely overwhelming.
Still, I have to believe if we try harder we can find individual ways to actually improve another persons quality of life. If everyone contributes to a small improvement imagine the accumulated overall effect.
I like to use Angelina Jolie as an example when I explain my feelings about helping individuals. Granted she saved the lives of more than one, but I believe she is of the mindset that ” if I can help one person I will” That’s a mindset I truly admire. She didn’t have to do what she did, she did because she felt she had the means and she wanted to.
Same with so many other people not as famous as Angelina. People like my neighbors who vacationed in Africa, and never expected to come home with their new eight year old daughter. People like this open their hearts, homes and families to children who had little to no chance of a decent future in their own country.
Not everyone can adopt a child, I realize that. It’s a recurring thought for me, but I realize I don’t have the resources required. But there are other ways to touch, improve, and help someone’s life.
Below are few of my favorite sites that to do just that. When you donate to an individual or family they actually benefit right away. (or shortly there after)
One laptop per child: http://one.laptop.org/
Buy a goat: http://www.heifer.org/
Micro lending, invest in people in other countries and get your money back plus some. http://www.kiva.org
Buy your eye glasses on-line, and someone gets a pair for free: http://www.warbyparker.com
Get the gift of giving water. http://www.charitywater.org/
Donate blood. http://www.redcross.org/
Please add your favorites unique charities in the comment section. Cheers!
Tip: Honor of someone else by giving in their name.
Inspiration: ” The habit of giving only enhances the desire to give.” – Walt Whitman
One-day one-thing: On strike