Ever have one of those days where every time you turn around you are faced with people dealing with tough situations? I've definitely had one today. It started out with a visit to a Charleston hospital to see a family member that recently underwent major surgery. While there, I watched said family member handle pain, needles, and discomfort with gumption and grace and I couldn't fathom how they did it.
I saw tiny little babies, that were just fighting to live another minute, children that looked like pros at the hospital thing because they had obviously spent a great deal of time there, a mother of twins that sat alone in a waiting room while one of her babies went through surgery, and I thought to myself: I have no problems.
On the way home, I passed houses that looked dilapidated beyond reason yet people were living in them, cars that had seen their best days years ago yet people were driving them, and suddenly I was aware of others around me, and I thought again, I have no problems....(you can kind of see where this is going I'm sure)..
So when I got home and logged on to my computer, in my warm house, with my health and mind and all that, and I saw stories of people paying rent to live in cages, yet another shooting, etc I was faced with the fact that, once again, I do not have any problems.
Not ones like what others are facing anyway. I have my health my mind, a roof, a bed, a full stomach. I may not have all I want, but my needs are met for sure and that's way more than a huge percentage of the world’s population dose. Anybody remember that scene at the end of the Princess Diaries (2001) where Mia, played by a up and coming Ann Hathaway, gave a little speech at the ball about how she had come to realize just how selfish she was? She said something about counting the times a day she said the word "I" and even though it was a Disney movie, the sentiment isn't that off...how many times a day do I say the word "I"?
So what do I do about this? How do I shake myself out of this "me" rut and actually help other people when I don't have an unlimited budget?
I've thought about it, and I've decided that I will start by making small changes and work my way up to bigger things as I can. I will be better at researching where my goods and supplies come from so that I can try to avoid buying from companies that use slave labor or have close-to-slave-labor conditions in their factories, I will buy from more local merchants, I will be a better Facebook fan of causes and charities by actually liking the posts and sharing the photos that they take the time to put up, I will take more surveys and use my voice, and I will listen/see/hear/spread the word more.
Why? Because there is more. The world isn't population one, and there is a big amount of good out there too. And I want to support it. I want to be better, I'm not saying I will always succeed-I'm human after all-but I am saying I will be giving a better effort.
Want a slice of the humble pie? If you're like me and have a desire to help others but are low on funds to do so in a big-giant donation-kind-of-way, here's a list of smaller ways to lend a hand that make a not-so-small-impact...
Be A Social Network Butterfly: There are some awesome non-profits, causes, etc. that take time to put up statuses and photos trying to get awareness out there via social networks like Facebook and twitter and you can help by "re-tweeting", "liking", and "sharing" that content with your friends, all it takes is the right person with the right resources to see something and get stuff done-that person could be one of your friends-start a trend. Some of those awesome charities include:
Use Your "Local" Status: No maps or fanny packs for you because you're a local! Be proud! Show off your superior local-ness by keeping a little bit of your money where you live. Maybe try a neat little vintage shop for your next outfit hunt, or buy your meats from a tiny grocer instead of the super store. Bonus!: You make new friends when you get to know local merchants and they go the extra mile for their costumers that super centers just can't do, like cutting your steak the way you like it before you ask, or letting you know they just got in a dress like the one you've been looking for. Some of my favorite local spots are as follows but feel free to explore and find your own!
Every Sport Needs A Spectator!: Go see a local band play, take the family to the Libraries movie night, swing by the church bake sale, the high school car wash, wave at the Chick-fil-A cow on the side of the highway, sometimes just being more aware of what others are doing around you will open up opportunities to be a better citizen..
So yeah, there you go. Thanks for reading my ramblings on. And if you can think of ways to be more involved on a budget let me know! I'd love to hear from y'all :)
To find more of Black Water Honey, visit the blog here!