My heart — like yours, I’m sure — was broken multiple times over the senseless violence that recently took the lives of young women in our communities. When added to the disrespect occurring online, in political arenas and elsewhere, I find myself — even with my positive psychology coaching certificate hanging within eyesight — wanting to scream, kick and cry, all of which I have done.
Left unchecked, the emotion could be overwhelming. What I have chosen instead, and I encourage you to consider (in addition to seeking support), is turning emotion into activism.
It’s not enough to type a Facebook post saying, “Something must be done.” We must do something. But we don’t always know what we can do. I want to offer some starting ideas:
- Use your voice. Speak up, and remember, your voice isn’t only the words you say. You can use your voice in where you choose to spend your money, the blogs you write, the questions you pose, the people for whom you vote, the causes you support, and many more outlets.
- Gather, with a results-focus. The second portion of this statement is just as important as the first: Connect with others, but refrain from letting gatherings turn into complain-and-blame fests. Focus your energy on results and visionary outcomes. A methodology I employ in my coaching work called appreciative inquiry can work wonders here.
- Check yourself online. Are you contributing to solutions or adding to chaos? Unfortunately, many people re-share articles on social media without first checking facts (and often without even reading the articles). As the popular meme reminds us, before you post, THINK: Is it true? Helpful? Inspiring? Necessary? Kind?
Related: The Power Of One
You can simultaneously be a positive person and be outraged. You can disagree without disrespecting. You can cry, scream, pound your punching bag at the gym, or curl up with some tea and a novel for a while. Feel your feelings.
But then, take positive action. Do what you can. Don’t worry whether it’s perfect or big enough — it all counts.
There is still so much good in the world. Along with the outrage, I see an outpouring of kindness — and I am hopeful.
Amid the anger, I witness compassion from all ages, genders, demographics — and I am optimistic.
Alongside the fear, I watch courageous individuals, often our youth, stepping forward to lead the way — and I am confident in the future.
“It took me quite a long time to develop a voice,” Madeleine Albright once stated, “and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.” Let’s put our voices together to create a stronger, kinder, more respectful world for all.
For 35 action-oriented ideas (and to add yours), visit my blog.
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