5 Ways To Support A Better World
Say Something! By Peter Reynolds
It’s clear that our world could use a lot more kindness, compassion, justice and equity.
With all that continues to go on in our world, conversations with our children can certainly be about big, difficult topics and evoke tough emotions from them and us.
In our home, we just celebrated 3 birthdays in the past 3 weeks. We all feel grateful for the experiences and joy we have had together, as a family. However, even with the excitement of these momentous celebrations, we have felt a lot of heavy emotions around some personal circumstances and events affecting loved ones, and other circumstances affecting people that we do not know personally, but feel deep emotions for. I am not going to get in to all of the specifics – but circumstances include everything from illness, to loss of life, violence, antisemitism, and continued injustices and inequities.
The heartbreak that I feel for our children; for all that they have heard, seen, and experienced, truly hurts my heart. I know that amongst the hate, intolerance and violence, there are incredible helpers and “doers” out there. Many of which are our children, and many of you reading this, today.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” -Mister Rogers
There is a Jewish concept called tikkun olam, which means “repair the world,” in the Hebrew language. It’s not necessarily about performing big acts of kindness or getting deep into the actions on social justice, but moreover, contributing to the repair of our world by doing a little each and every day. So, let’s think about this concept of tikkun olam and how we are positively contributing and modeling actions that can affect ourselves, our children, our household, grandchildren, our schools, friends, strangers, community, state, or country.
Today and every day, I’d like for you to ask yourself a very important question:
WHAT DID I DO TODAY TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE MISSION OF MAKING THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE?
As we model behaviors, words, and actions that contribute to a better world, our children, their children, and the future generations to come will learn it, show it, and hopefully pass it on.
Here are 5 ways you can support this mission of repairing the world a little at a time:
1. Express your emotions- Be true to the emotions that you feel and allow the children and adults in your life to do the same. Doing so will nurture life-lessons in empathy, compassion, care and relationships.
2. Smile and compliment others - Notice others, give a smile or compliment.
3. Use your voice- the world needs your voice. Speak up respectfully with your words, your presence, your actions, and creativity (art, music, writing)
4. Show gratitude- Notice and identify the things you are grateful for. Tune in to the small everyday details and notice the good things you might sometimes take for granted and express them.
5. Stand for a worthy cause- Discover what is meaningful to you, then act, speak and/or donate to that cause.
“Your voice can inspire, heal and transform. Your voice can change the world. Are you ready to say something?” -Peter Reynolds
These words are from a children’s book, titled, Say Something! By Peter H. Reynolds. This beautiful, inclusive book is all about the world needing YOUR voice YOUR actions…a great addition to your home, school or community library.
I will leave you with these thoughts…
Change and growth comes from a willingness to learn, listen, and keep an open-mind. Read books, listen to podcasts, find reputable media and news sources - learn accurate and well-intentioned information. Keep an open mind and listen to those opinions different from yours; you might learn something new.
Treat others how you want to be treated, be an upstander, speak and act respectfully and inspire others to do the same.
Cheers for a brighter, kinder world and to doing all that we can to contribute.