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I'm just one person - "What Can I Do?"

contribution meaningful questions Mar 20, 2022

Hey everyone. Welcome to my latest post.

Today I'm going to follow up on last week where I discussed how we can choose to interact with others in more productive and compassionate ways, especially in the aftermath of the COVID pandemic.

In addition to COVID, there are plenty of other things going on in the world as well. If we aren't careful, we can allow ourselves to get overwhelmed.

Besides, "I'm just one person. "What can I do?

That's a great question and a great place to start.

Rather than pointing to all the things you can't do, ask yourself what meaningful contribution CAN I make considering my own personal resources?

Several weeks ago, at the outbreak of the horrible war in Ukraine, my initial, compassionate impulse was to hop on a plane and join the fight. Fortunately, I allowed enough time for my brain to slow down and think it through. I quickly reconsidered the wisdom of heading overseas. Despite my youthful exuberance I realized, I'm 66 years old, can't speak Ukrainian, \don't know anyone who lives there, and have no military experience.

So, rather than going to Ukraine and tying up their limited medical staff by getting carried off on a stretcher, I can use my actual resources more productively in other ways. Making decisions based solely on our initial emotions usually gets us in hot water and only makes matters worse.

When I throw a drowning person a life preserver, my goal is to pull them out, of the water, NOT allow them to pull me in. Sometimes, I'm in a position to make a small financial donation to the American Red Cross or other worthy causes. Combined with other small-dollar donations millions of dollars can be leveraged for various charitable endeavors. But what about those who are struggling on a fixed budget, and can't afford to make a financial donation? Despite a tendency to minimize their impact, small acts of kindness can live on in the hearts and minds of the recipients - for years.

The positive effects can also echo through our entire community. Consider the potential impact of a warm smile, a friendly wave, or a kind word to someone in the checkout line. It can momentarily brighten their day like a warm emotional oasis in the midst of their otherwise crazy life.

We can all contribute something, regardless of our particular life circumstances. SO, when others ask "I'm just one person - "What Can I do?" You'll have a good answer.

This week I encourage you to do three things.

  1. Make a conscious effort to smile, wave or say hello to a few perfect strangers,
  2. Notice the effect your actions have on your emotions, and finally,
  3. Make a list of other things you CAN do rather than wasting effort beating yourself up on things you can't do.

If you'd like to include your story in a future post, contact me via email at [email protected]

As always, Please comment on this or any of my previous posts!

 Until then stay well and take care.

Mike

PS: Click here for my 3/25/2022 Facebook Video of this post!

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