Or anywhere online.
Thank you for all the love on Monday’s post. I hope we continue to fight and support one another.
I had a breaking point this week after I commented on a sexist post a family member shared on Facebook. I’m not proud of that moment. I’m not proud of him for sharing it, but I’m mad at myself for engaging. I’ve got more important things to do. I’ve said some unkind things on Twitter. I went on an unfollowing spree. And then I vowed to step back.
I’m a passionate, opinionated person (not sure you could tell?) and that will never change. But I want to put that passion (and sometime aggression) to good use. I want my words backed up by action.
So what can we do instead of fighting?
Donate your time. Help serve meals at a local shelter or Ronald McDonald House. I volunteered at a chapter several years ago and I’ve never forgotten it – I’ve also never gone back. It’s time to return. Now seems like a good time.
Donate your stuff. How many of you are currently in the midst of the “new year purge”? Most women’s (and men’s) shelters would be thrilled to have your donations of clothing, makeup and beauty products, hygiene products, tampons, pads, household items, etc. If you’re as beauty-obsessed as I am, you no doubt have samples of products (think all of the shampoo, lotion, and fragrance samples you receive from Birchbox and Ipsy) cluttering up your bathroom counter. Instead of throwing them away, ask local charities if they’re in need.
Spend time with your loved ones. Whether it’s a much-needed date night, drinking wine with friends, or dinner with your family, unplug and make it happen. Step away from the phone and intentionally engage with a real-life person. I went home this weekend to spend time with my niece – you know what she wanted to talk about? Not politics. Not Trump. Not Obama. Corn on the cob. And butts.
Pay it forward. I’m honestly not a huge fan of paying for someone’s order at Starbucks (I feel like if you can afford a $5 coffee, you’re probably doing alright), but if that’s what you want to do, so be it. But one of my Facebook friends shared last week that she and a fellow teacher were working in Starbucks on their day off when a stranger left them both gift cards and a note, thanking them for the work they do for children. Now that’s something I can get on board with.
Be kind. Good Lord, we need it right now. For many reasons. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people called “trash” on Facebook the past few days. Or worse. It’s heartbreaking. One thing I’m actively trying to do is to say something positive to someone in person and online daily, whether it be a nice Instagram comment, blog comment, or tweet, it costs you nothing but 30 seconds of your time. Smile at the harried lady at the grocery store. Compliment a colleague’s work on a project. Tell someone you’re proud of them. Leave a nice note for a friend, your kid, or spouse. Make it genuine.
None of us are going to inspire a movement by sharing a meme on Twitter (I’ve tried) or shitting on someone we disagree with online. It’s not going to happen. No matter what side you’re on, it’s time to go to work.
What can we do for others today?