You Are NEVER Powerless
We all struggle with whether we are making our mark on the world and sometimes we can feel our voices get lost in the crowd. Interestingly, regardless of political affiliation, I have spoken with so many people that are concerned for their country and feel they aren't being heard or represented. But they are forgetting how powerful they really are.
When you feel lost, afraid or like you don't matter, you have the power to change your perspective by asking a simple question. What can I do right now to take even the smallest step in the right direction?
It doesn't matter if the issue is personal, professional or even political. This question is an extremely powerful tool to force you change your perspective to find solutions and enable to find your power where you might otherwise feel powerless.
An example of how you can see a problem and be a part of the solution: I have witnessed ignorance and intolerance toward immigrants trying to make a better life, for not "speaking American, this is America!" (* For those that may not know, American is not a language). This lack of empathy or understanding really frustrates me because learning any second language is extremely difficult and should be commended, not ridiculed. I took Spanish classes for 5 years, participated in a five week study abroad program in Spain, reside in South Florida and I am still nowhere near fluent in Spanish. However, when I travel to Mexico, Spain, Puerto Rico, etc. and I attempt to speak Spanish, I am met with gracious patience and no one has ever been rude to me or questioned my intellect for not being better at a second language. So it is hard for me to see someone endeavoring to learn and better themselves, being ridiculed or judged as less than. Instead of just remaining disappointed or dejected by what we perceive as a negative problem in the world, we can take action to be, and find, the positive solution.
Mother Theresa said, "Every act of love is an act of peace, no matter how small." I know I can't change all ignorance or intolerance but as attorney with an major in English, tutoring foreign speakers in English is something I can do to improve the lives of those around me and consequently, the world. Volunteering with the local literacy coalition to teach English comprehension and reading is a way to not only show someone their endeavor to learn a language is appreciated and respected, but is way to give a gift that improves the lives of others and their family that lasts a lifetime. When I volunteered, I thought I was doing so to help others but I am learning the gift is mutual and the rewards are infinite.
We all have different talents and gifts. What are yours? When you see a problem or are frustrated with how things are being done, how can you contribute to be part of the solution? It is easy to sit around and criticize what's being done but sometimes taking action and responsibility for change can be a bit more challenging. You have the ability to do something about problems you see by standing in your power: lending your unique voice, talents and gifts to work toward a solution.
You CAN make a difference in the lives of your friends and neighbors and the best part is, you get to choose how. If you're concerned about the environment, can you start a carpool? If you're concerned about the elderly, can you organize holiday caroling or "adopt" a new friend at a nursing home... you are limited only by your desire and imagination.
I look forward to hearing some of your stories and adventures.