Just a reminder. If you got up today and pushed through, you are doing great! Times are challenging, we all know it. So, wrap your arms around your shoulders and give yourself a big hug.
Besides the obvious fallout from global coronavirus pandemic, a brutal civil war is raging in Yemen leaving 13 million people on the brink of starvation, while Lebanon is in its worst economic crisis in modern history. Massive wildfires are burning across several U.S. states, embattled black people are struggling against centuries of racial injustice, swarms of desert locusts have devastated food crops across several continents and it goes on.
Even at the micro level somewhere in the world a woman, a child, someone, is being abused and has nowhere to turn. Return to the big picture, and we see Saharan dust storms, the start of the North Atlantic Hurricane season , Southeast Asia’s Monsoon, and on the horizon, the imminent collision of any number of these. It is hard not to feel like the world is in turmoil of apocalyptic proportions.
As sad and anxious as this makes us, we are privileged to simply watch from the comfort of our homes. For millions of people impacted by wars, disease, famine, racism, classism, sexism, colourism and just about every kind of discrimination, this is their stark reality.
What if there was something that we could do to help? What if through small, random acts, we can collectively have an impact that could save lives and alleviate human suffering?
Here are a few small acts of kindness to consider:
- Call and engage with someone today. A simple conversation can do so much to ward off depression, stress and loneliness or just make someone’s day. Put a “spread love” reminder in your phone to alarm every evening at X:30 PM reminding you to call your mom, text a friend, email an old contact who lives abroad or that one friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Just do it. Set the reminder now.
- Giving Life-saving blood. Giving blood is a simple thing to do, yet so many of us have never even considered donating. You can literally save a life where ever you are in the world. If you are in the U.S. check out https://www.redcross.org/give-blood.html
- Donate to a Food Bank. There continues to be a need for healthy, shelf-stable foods to feed families in need. When you go grocery shopping this week pick up a few extra non-perishables to give to a food bank in your community or to a local church. In addition to donating food, there a number of other ways you can support, such as volunteering. Here’s a guide on how you can support you local food bank.
- Help ‘Child Witches’ escape stigma and abuse. This one sounds very strange, but thousands of children in Africa are abandoned each year after being accused of being witches. Witch-stigmatized and abandoned children live in constant dangers at home or their communities. They are frightened, tortured and even killed. How can you give a child the chance to grow up loved, well-fed, happy, having fun, and going to school? Join the fight against Child witch branding and Stigmatization.
- Support the fight for racial justice and equality. Months after the death of George Floyd, the protests may subside, but black people still need concrete support to cast off stigma to be able to thrive economically and socially. Here’s a very well-researched and easy to use guide on how you can support Black Lives Matter today.
- Make a purchase that gives double value – to you and to an unseen beneficiary. Consider for e.g. items on this list of purchases that give back, and there are many others. Your purchasing power is real power. Remember it. It is generally good practice to not spend your money where you would not be hired, or with companies that support causes that do not align with your values. Do your research and use your power wisely.
We tend to experience the world on ends of a spectrum. On one end is our personal bubble, our own needs, wants, plans, and troubles. On the other end, is all the ‘other stuff’, primarily learned through others and the media. How can we shift to experience along a continuum, including things within our immediate control and those outside of our immediate control, but all of it forming part of our experience, our consciousness and our responsibility?
“Giving is not just about making a donation, it’s about making a difference.” What ways have you found to factor others in or to spread kindness?