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|Thoughts on Helping Out ~ Introduction||Entry 1 of 10 | Next >> |
Quite the question: given our world's diversity and the ever-increasing closeness of its disparate cultures and ideologies, what can be done to help? What can you and I in our respective (and seemingly insignificant) positions within this vast world of ours do to make a difference? Unfortunately, the silver bullets and magic pills are lacking. At times the answers seem simple and clear, at other times painfully complex. Despite this, I will explore a few of the things I believe we can do to make our shared planet a more peaceful and pleasant place.
I've chosen to organize my thoughts via a simple list. Though somewhat arbitrary in length, nine suggestions seemed a manageable number and allowed me to address my key points. So I've sifted through notes and questions jotted down over the course of several months. What I share now is simply a streamlined set of thoughts. There's nothing particularly novel here; yet perhaps by organizing these thoughts here – in the context of a site documenting the beauty and diversity or our world – they might be seen in a different light. Each of these suggestions is addressed individually. All are accessible via the thumbnail links at left. Like the rest of the site, you are invited to share your comments. Agree, disagree, or simply augment my comments with your own. Here, then, are the nine things I think you and I can do “to help”:
- Embrace Diversity: appreciate and learn from our differences
- Seek Beauty: look for it (and bring it out) in others, in everyday life
- Be Forward-Thinking: anticipate the future; act in accordance with what you see
- Read More: turn off the television on occasion; educate yourself for life
- Demand More: of corporations, government, war, truth; raise the level of discussion
- Travel! expose yourself to other ways of thinking; see things from “their” perspective
- T h i N k 4 y o u R S e l F! be wary of group-think; question and seek better ways
- Support Worthy Causes: perhaps as importantly, learn from what others are doing
- Become (Truly) Unselfish: make decisions with consideration of others in mind
In all honesty there are moments where I believe a great deal of suffering could be avoided if we bought into these simple suggestions. Most of us, I think, already acknowledge the wisdom of the words. Yet it seems we too often fail to critically examine our actions to see how well they match our professed ideals. I am reminded of the words of the late Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone (seen also in the slideshow of favorite expressions), who implored very simply, “Never separate the lives you live from the words you speak.” If only we could follow his advice.