Thursday, January 26, 2017

Your Time, Talent and Treasure

Alright, let's chat about Facebook. I'm kind of over it. I just counted and half of the last twenty posts on my newsfeed were political. What happened to the days of people's vacation pictures and posts about their baby's first spit up?  BRING THEM BACK!!

I get it.  After this weekend, we're all fired up.  You're either ready to make America great again after the inauguration or your ready to fight for equality after the Women's March.  Or maybe both. I know that I was feeling inspired and motivated after this weekend, which is something I haven't really felt since November. I think that was one of the best outcomes of the Women's March.  People felt inspired and united after a few months of feeling hopeless. They were motivated to act.  People who feel passionately about Trump's inauguration speech probably feel the same way.  Now is the time to act.

My church growing up used to ask every adult at the beginning of the year what their time, talent and treasure was.  Basically, they were asking how much time and when could you volunteer, what are some skills that you can provide, and how much money can you donate. I think this is a great way to think about your role in politics, especially over the next four years.

For example, I have time to make a phone call to my senators and let them know how I feel.  It takes five minutes, if that. I also have my teaching license, so once I'm back in the states, I'm going to try to find a job in a low income school district and offer my talents there. Your talent could be something simpler though, like knitting hats for refugees or using your graphic design talents to benefit a non-profit you support. Last, I donate to causes that I'm passionate about, especially those who are at risk of losing funding.  I even set up my Amazon account so that every time I place an order, a portion of what I spent goes to the charity of my choice (Amazon Smile). Every penny counts!

So, instead of just posting to Facebook (or whatever your preferred form of social media is), act and let people know how to act! I understand the importance of spreading the word and speaking out against things that you don't feel are right. Believe me. There are plenty of things that I'm not happy with. The important thing to remember though is that just complaining isn't going to change anything.  The president isn't reading your Facebook page and more likely than not, that post isn't really going to change anyone's mind who is. At this point, I think most people are just scrolling past a lot of posts on their newsfeed. If you feel that you MUST post that article, think about including action steps along with that post.

I'll go first. Sample Facebook Post:

I think Betsy DeVos is a TERRIBLE choice for the Secretary of Education. I think her lack of understanding of basic education concepts is enough to make her unqualified for the job and the more and more I read about her track record in Michigan, the more scared I become for the future of our students.  Here is an article about why I think she is not the right choice for the job.

Please help me stand up for our children and students by calling your Congress members and letting them know how you feel about Betsy DeVos.  Here is a list of all of the senators by state and their contact information, as well as a link to find your representatives in the House. 

I have abstained from posting on Facebook, but if I was going to post something political, it would probably be this. It provides action steps and doesn't just complain about something I'm unhappy about.  If you're pleased with something the new administration did and you feel you must post about it on Facebook, provide action steps on how to keep supporting the politicians that made this possible.

A lot of people are feeling passionate about the president, either positively or negatively.  I get it.  I really do.  Just ask Mike. I'm pretty sure that a day hasn't gone by that we haven't discussed politics in some fashion. That being said, it's easy to post to Facebook and argue about new policies and executive orders.  What is more effective is an action.  Think about what you are able to give in terms of time, talent and treasure to help ensure that the government is working for you and your people and use that to make positive change.

And just because I love and miss Scout and I think he could cheer almost anyone up, here's my favorite picture of my favorite orange human being!

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Scout says "you guys should have just voted for me and then there would be no issues." #scout2020 

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