On the day of the inauguration, my sister issued a challenge . She made the point that while our new President is certainly inspiring, each and every one of us needs to get involved to make a difference in our world. It's true: change starts with each of us. No one person nor a new administration can fix all that is wrong. We must each be willing to do our part.
As many of us are struggling to buy groceries, to make the mortgage or rent, not to mention the luxury of health insurance it is easy to say "What can I do? Hell, I need help myself!" The challenge is to look outside yourself, past your own struggles and to realize that you do have something you can give. Each day, opportunities present themselves for us to make a difference, to show kindness to our fellow man. It can be, as my sister said, gathering your extra blankets or gloves or coats and dropping them by the park where homeless people congregate. It can be taking a moment to help an older person load her groceries into her car. You can surprise an elderly neighbor with a warm home-made meal. Perhaps your kids have outgrown some of their clothes or toys; donate them to the local shelter for women and children. If you are crafty, use your talents to knit or sew hats or blankets to donate to the local hospital or cancer-care center.
This morning on NPR I heard a story about veterans coming home who have not been given the government assistance they need. They have had to resort to relying on the kindness of strangers and there is a website you can visit. Needs range from money to help pay their mortgages to baby items to a washing machine requested by a soldier who suffered terrible burns.
The challenge is to go out into the world each day with an open mind and an open heart and find opportunities to make a difference. Change begins here, now.