Friday, April 19, 2013

What can you do to get involved in your community?

It can appear to be a staggering task to get involved with your community, but what will happen to your community if you do not get involved?

Commonly, people use their limitations as excuses to validate why they are incapable of engaging in their ‘community’.  The greatest leaders and inventors in history embarked on change by using the limited resources they had at their disposal. 

It is anger, frustration, and being fed up that typically incites people to take action. There is also something to say to those who do not act out of these emotions but rather provide maintenance and sustenance even in terrific times.  They are the ones to keep the movement going when everyone else looses interest.

Though we live in a reactive society, human beings have a great ability to harness powerful emotions toward common interests.

Some will say: “But how can I do anything? I have no money or I have little time.”

Let's take a look at Susan B Anthony.  She was a leader in the woman's suffrage movement in the mid to late 1800's.  She fought for teacher’s equal pay, coed education, and college education for girls.  Prevailing by use of her skills to lecture, she educated, facilitated, and congregated women together. When organizations refused to let women participate, she harnessed her leadership powers to initiate her own groups including the first women's Temperance Association, Woman's Loyal League, and The National Women Suffrage Association. One of the ultimate resources she had was her ability to teach. She used it to help enact the first laws in New York that granted women rights over their children and property.  Remaining driven and focused she initiated a group of women to the polls, though she was arrested and sentenced to a fine that she refused to pay, the other woman replicated her integrity and united until the case was heard in front of the Supreme Court.  She used the potential of education, focus, and leadership as tools to govern change. 

Next let’s look at Rosa Parks; she harnessed the ability to remain stead fast and unmoved from her seat on the bus.  This sparked Martin Luther King JR. to launch the Montgomery bus boycott movement where over 17,000 black Montgomery residents boycotted the buses for almost a year.  Because of Rosa Parks’ refusal to compromise her dignity, worth, and virtue, her bravery drove a pivotal stage in the civil rights movement.  Eventually, the Supreme Court declared segregation on buses unconstitutional.  Unity, perseverance, and remaining stead fast were tools used to engage community involvement. This event not only proved to be a victory in the legislation but it also showed the power of community unification.  

In North Africa and in the Middle East groups of women formed an organization called MENA.  This organization is a business women's network designed to launch social progress and economic development.

In New York, Vivian Gonzalez works as an Employment Counselor, with the NYS Department of Labor in downtown Brooklyn.  Mrs. Gonzalez previously served as an activist and advocate for incarcerated women at the Women’s Prison Association, where she advocated for their release and reunification with their families. She volunteers her time holding recreational events for geriatric patients in hospice and also helps to connect people in her Bronx home town to job opportunities.  She wakes up at 5:00 am every morning to begin her day.  She is a professional, a wife, a mother, an entertainer, and a vital connection to jobs that provide people with independence in her community. 

In Pennsylvania, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Tara Simmons has helped to start an organization in her community called Building Bridges.  Building Bridges helps children that have issues interacting inappropriately with others.  She uses her willpower, motivation, and dedication to support her community, even when there is resistance.  It is her act of kindness that keeps the vision alive. 

Earl Lucas of Reading Pennsylvania created the Afro/Latino Magazine over 7 years ago.  The bi-weekly magazine is distributed to thousands of places throughout Berks, Dauphin, and Montgomery County. His magazine provides affordable advertising to many of the local businesses.  He has also been able to use his brand to launch a yearly parade in which the community comes together to enjoy each other’s culture, food, and activities. 

These individuals are only a few of the numerous amounts of people who have and are becoming involved in their communities.  

In almost all cases these individuals pulled together the resources they had accessible to them to ignite change. Providing vital services to their communities and using action to inspire others.

It is not what can I do but rather how can I use the resources I have accessible to me to begin serving my community. 

We all have the ability the harness the power that is within us.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Rethinking Humanity

"One Day, I heard a voice inside me that was sincerely concerned for the future of the earth and humanity.  That voice asked, Would a world where all life-forms on this earth live together in peace and harmony be impossible? 

That voice answered, If all people really wanted that and chose that kind of world, why wouldn't it come true?" - Ilchi Lee excerpt from page 164: The Call of Sedona Journey Of The Heart.

The ability to choose.  Simple as that.  The author explains we all have innate greatness within us which evokes a spark of passionate desire to search for divinity which leads to doing a good service for others.  

People make choices daily that affect the whole world.  The ultimate unifying power is universally agreeing on particular subject matters.  The most successful of them all are based on the ideas revolving around money, its value, use, and desire to obtain it. The use of currency is an acknowledged universal choice made daily by the majority of the earth’s population for trade.  If we can universally come together with money it can be done with anything else. 

Naturally, people disagree but no one would admit to others that the desire for peace and harmony is wrong.  Does it meet the bottom line when it comes to obtaining profits?  No, not at all.  Society has built the measurement of currency as a way to distinguish groups from one another, oppress people into getting them to do work that needs to be done to generate more wealth, and establish hope for a better life.  This is completely different from unifying for peace. In fact harmony, respect, and peace are not as profitable as war, famine, economic disasters, and polluting the earth.

*Distinguished groups are called classes.

*Oppressive behaviors include paying low wages, slavery, create poverty from bad economic conditions, war, incarceration, restrictive education requirements ie.

*Hope for a better life is the most challenging because hope is used against the majority of the population as encouragement of society remaining unchanged urging that things will always get better.

Peace and Harmony contradict today's idea of profit driven motives.  Motive and desire can be looked at as key tools that encourage one reaching toward a goal based off a set of beliefs. 

If one American Dream is to become rich and famous, could that concept be more unrealistic then having a dream of being a driving positive force the community where there is none?  Say for example we had peace and harmony; would the concept of being a driving positive force even exist?  We must realize we are one.  We are different in appearance and destiny but we are one as a human race.

Imagine humanity as different flowers, some are big and others are small but all are none the less beautiful. Some live a few days, other's only come alive at night, still a few survive a whole season only to wither away and then return the next year.  They are complete so long as they have soil, water, pollination, and the sun.  

In our world, all human's come in all these different shapes, size, statuses, and preferences.  All human's have to have their basic needs meet in order to live.  Empathy, bravery, sympathy and so on proves we have connections to people we do not know. These connections are stronger with situations we either relate to or have interest in and weaker in places we don't. None the less a connection remains no matter how faint.  

It has been said that there are six degrees of separation between each human being in the world.  If you can release one droplet of water to vegetate your fellow women and men to help assist in the arrival to a sense of wholeness, then you have began a ripple that has the potential to affect multitudes of individuals around the world. Money comes to pass, people come and go. The flowers live and then they die but your energy will follow your footsteps.  You are the definition of what humanity can be.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Psalm 43:5 When you are at odds with in yourself

Psalm 43:5 why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise him..... 

No matter how the body or mind feels emotionally, God is faithful and the spirit within us knows this. 

The psalmist was at odds with himself, the spirit was speaking to the doubts of his flesh. Attempting to uplift the person (human) inside to believe on God and be patient, knowing he will come. 

So continue to praise him while waiting.

This feeling is all to familiar especially when it comes to doing work for our communities.  We can not fret but keep God at the center of our plans.  Working with others can be difficult at times, but our most troublesome times come when we are at odds with our self. 

Still sometimes we must continue to move forward, using that voice inside of us to encourage and convince ourselves not to give up.

Be patient and know that God is going to help you to make it. Do not let money, personal conflict, or the lack of material possessions undermine the spirit of God.  Be courageous and multiply your efforts.  Character is built when we go against our own grain and set our spirit up high, believing we can achieve the impossible.

It is the greatest victory ever won...

Be patient