Be real. What does that mean? It means being really involved with your own life, your own neighborhood, and your own community. It means getting up and DOING something.
We’ve all seen the “Occupy Wall Street” movement online. Those are people getting up and doing something, but face it, not all of us can be there or be involved in that kind of way in any type of “movement”. That doesn’t mean we can’t make a difference in the world we live in. That doesn’t mean we can’t create our own movement, one that just might have more immediate effect on someone’s life than even these mass political movements have in the cities across the country.
It’s small, nobody is going to take your picture and publish it. Nobody is even going to threaten you or arrest you over it. You won’t get any political attention, you won’t get any legal attention, and you won’t even score points towards a Nobel Peace Prize. You will however, make a difference, quickly and unobtrusively, to someone’s life. It doesn’t require vast sums of money either.
Okay, so maybe it does take a little bit of money once in a while. Maybe it takes a bit of your time too. It’s also true that you, personally, won’t see a pay off for your investment immediately, and it might be a very long time before you do, if ever. Those are all very true statements.
This is how you start being real.
Look around you. Do you see a problem or a need somewhere in your own neighborhood or community? If you don’t, I can just about bet that you need to get out and about in your own community a bit more. You might not find it cruising around in your car or SUV. You might have to get out and ride a bike or walk through your neighborhood and actually meet people.
These needs can be as simple as an elderly person who needs help to get their dumpster/trash can out to the curb for pickup. Maybe they don’t drive anymore, and need a ride to the grocery store once in a while. You go too, why not offer to take them along? They’d likely enjoy the company, and you might be surprised at how much you start enjoying it too.
Maybe its a kid who would love to have that bicycle your own kids have outgrown and abandoned in the backyard. Why not grease it up, get it ready, and give it to him or her? Maybe their basketball is flat and just needs someone with a pump and needle to inflate it again.
Maybe its a homeless transient on a street corner looking for a hand out. A lot of people are one paycheck from that state themselves, but a sandwich, a loaf of bread, or a cheap tarp on a rainy day might make a lot of difference to that man or woman. Last year’s abandoned school bag in your closet might make a much better way for them to carry their few belongings than a grocery store bag too. Ask…they aren’t going to bite you! “What do you need today?” isn’t a hard question.
Maybe a family has just moved into the neighborhood, stop by and say hello…and see if there is something they need. It might be something that you have in the garage waiting for a ride to the local charity anyhow! Many families are struggling just to have a roof over their heads, and may lack furniture, dishes, pots & pans, and other basics that many of us take for granted.
Maybe its a young adult, struggling to stay afloat in a tough economy, and lacks a support system of family and friends. Why not offer them some friendship, invite them over for dinner, get to know them and what is going on in their lives. It’s tough to be on your own for the first time, and an amazing number of young adults don’t have anybody that even cares what happens to them, let alone offers anything in the shape of emotional support or even advice on how to handle tough situations. You might make a huge difference in their lives, and that difference might be
Sometimes, you can make a difference in somebody’s life just by stopping and chatting for a few minutes. Sometimes it’s an object you have or can get that might make a difference. Sometimes, it’s a few dollars that makes the difference. Sometimes, it’s a skill you have that is needed. It might just be your brute strength that does the trick too!
Go do something. Get involved. On your own, as part of an organization or group, whatever you can do…don’t just send a contribution and go sit in front of your television or computer monitor. Living and being real means more than just hitting “like” on Facebook, it’s more than clicking the “share” button…it’s being involved in a proactive way.
Our world will never get better if all we do is send a check and hit the like button. We’re just part of the problem then.