I challenge you to do something about it

July 6, 2010 at 4:59 pm 1 comment

Does your heart ever break over things going on in our world?  Do you ever wish and long to do something about it, but don’t because the problem is too huge and the little actions you could do seem to insignificant to warrant doing them?

Me too.

My challenge to you – and myself – is to do something about it.  Let’s stop waiting for some golden opportunity to completely and easily eradicate hunger or slavery or clean up the oil spill or (pick your cause) to fall into our laps.  Let’s take advantage of the little things we can do – because sometimes, though I struggle with recognizing this myself, a little can mean a lot.  And it’s certainly better than doing nothing.

And sometimes, it doesn’t matter how little the action is – what matters is how many people do it.  And one person can mean a lot. 

At my university, every year we have a huge 46-hour no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon to benefit kids with pediatric cancer.  (Well, only the specially chosen dancers aren’t allowed to sit or sleep; the supporters and whatnot can off-shift).  I’ve mentioned before what a big deal THON is for us, and in fact we raised nearly $8 million dollars this past year.  I’m not sure we actually make money during the dance marathon; it’s an all-year fundraiser that involves benefit performances, giveaways, letter-writing, canning, and anything else we can think of.  But here’s my point: “canning” involves standing on street corners with cans and signs.  Drivers donate a dollar, maybe two, generally just loose change.  They often apologize for not giving more.  But that doesn’t matter.  We raise thousands of dollars because thousands of people offered spare change.  They probably thought one dollar wouldn’t help anyone at all.  But combined with everyone else’s donations – what an impact it can make! 

So maybe we need to stop expecting so much of ourselves.  I know, that’s a strange thing to say from someone who firmly believes in the message of TheRebelution and “Do Hard Things”.  But what I mean is – I see in myself a mentality that’s probably just pride: the if I can’t do it all, i won’t do anything mentality that’s absolutely crippling.  But the fact is, I can’t combat such things by myself, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t take advantage of the little things I can do. 

Gracy Howard wrote another article for us on Bloom! about things we can do to combat slavery, which is why it is on my mind right now.  Go read her articles (Invisible Chains and 5 Steps to Fighting Slavery)- they are much more eloquent, knowledgeable, and practical than the jumbled rant you’re reading right now.

But here’s my challenge: I challenge you to read the articles, and, if you are moved, to actually do something.  Let’s stop fussing about all the things we can’t do, and do the small things we can.  Visit chainstorereaction for an easy way to send a letter (they’ve even written it, and it’s very good) to companies and brands you like, and ask them about what they are doing to help fair trade.  They need to listen to their costumers if they want to stay in business – but their customers have to bring this to their attention if we want them to do something about it.  (And you can also see what businesses’ reactions have been – which ones have paid attention and are working for fair trade and not supporting slavery). 

I challenge you to visit IJM or Shared Hope International and, again, send a letter to your congressman.  You may think one letter won’t do much – but it’s one thing we can do, and in our country the government does actually listen to its people, providing its people actually raise their voices.  And did I mention it’s an election year?  They’ll be especially responsive.  Let’s show them that ending slavery in the world and sex trafficking in our own country is important.

Gracy has even more great ideas.  Go read them!

I challenge you to be creative and do anything else you think of for any cause that you are passionate about. 

Just don’t let the lie – that you are one person and you can only do small things – stop you.

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pieces of thankfulness on my mind

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. here’s your chance « Overlapped's Weblog  |  August 13, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    […] 13, 2010 About a month ago, I wrote the post “I challenge you to do something about it“, in which I, well, challenged you.  To get involved in a cause you care about and to stop […]

    Reply

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