Wednesday, February 1, 2017

How to Be a Hero: Lesson 3

So, you see a need that you care about. The next step is to DO something to fill that need. And there are plenty of needs to choose from. But pick one that tugs at your heart, because you need passion to make a real difference.

You may feel passionately about people living in extreme poverty, about starving children, about people trapped in violent settings, about children dying unnecessarily of preventable diseases, about people without clean drinking water, about girls forced into genital mutilation, about boys being stolen to be soldiers in terrorist armies, about people freezing to death during the winter, about people made homeless by war or other violence. There are so many more causes you might choose from. 

Don't become overwhelmed by the number of needs in the world. You can't fix everything. And, on your own, you may not be able to fix anything. But joining with others you can save numerous lives.Where will/have you begin/begun? 

Personally, I address several needs. I donate blood as often as I can. That costs me nothing but a few minutes a month. And I know that access to blood transfusions when life depends on it is a life-saving act. 

I also address poverty by donating to KIVA. It is an organization that makes micro-loans to people in  need of a bit of money to start or expand their small business in poor countries. The borrowers get the money interest free and pay it back in small increments. When the money is paid back the donor can choose to loan it to another person who wants to work their way out of poverty. My gift goes on and on.

Another of my passions is the poverty in our own country on Indian Reservations. Once I'd seen the depth of poverty in S. Dakota's Rose Bud and Pine Ridge Reservations I was determined to do what I could to help. Each winter I ask my friends and family to donate money for items for the elderly poor on the Rose Bud Reservation to help them survive the bitter winter there. And at the end of summer I collect money to send school supplies for the children whose families can't afford to provide them. 

These are easy enough for me. I don't really feel any of it is much of a sacrifice. Sometimes the money for the elderly there is a challenge, but I have never done without anything I needed by sending it. You see, like the example of saving  the child in the fish pond in my last blog, I have all my basic needs met and can afford to give up some of the wants when I see a need.

I give to other causes throughout the year to a lesser degree. There are always people who need and deserve help. So when I can, I give to those as well. But as I explore this issue and look at what I have in my life, all the basic needs filled in my life and many wants besides, I think i can do more.

Because of my age and health I'm no longer able to do much physical help, and I regret that. I've had some wonderfully fulfilling experiences doing for others what they couldn't do for themselves. But now my physical contributions are much smaller - like crocheting hats for newborns in Honduras and grocery-bag-sleeping mats for the homeless who live on the land or the streets locally. I do mending for folks who can't do it for themselves. But I want to do more. Do you have ideas for me? I'd appreciate suggestions.

In a way, this blog is something I do to help others. My mission is to make a positive difference in the world and to help others do so as well. I'd appreciate your questions and/or feedback on what you are, or want to be, doing to change the world. Maybe another reader needs to know your ideas and suggestions.

Please comment.

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