This is a story about the power of community and how each one of us can make a difference.
Before I begin, you need to know that I have a lot of cousins 🙂
The Power of Community
A couple of months ago, two of my cousins and I started sending each other messages online. Another one of our cousins, Mary, was in a dire situation. We wanted to do something and had felt helpless about her situation for a number of years.
Now, back when Mary became severely disabled due to a hospital fall while pregnant, there was nothing like GoFundMe to help with the situation. After the Toronto Star published an article about her late last year we found our emotions reignited. We started thinking and asking, “Has anyone ever thought to do a GoFundMe campaign to help?”
One thing led to the next. There were conversations, Facebook messages, and in three different parts of our extended family this subject kept coming up.
When the three instigators got together over the internet, we were uncertain about the level of impact we could have. But we thought, “You know what? It has not been tried before. Let’s see what we can do.”
We put together a plan of action, and we decided on the timing. We chose last weekend, which happened to be our cousin’s birthday. In Ontario where we live, it was also Family Day.
We must have struck a powerful chord in our community, because the results were nothing short of miraculous. I’m here today to share a message of hope with you.
We can be prone to believing we can’t have an impact in the world, or in another person’s life. I’m here to tell you that belief is absolutely false. Yes, there are things that are beyond the scope of our control. It’s astonishing how much of our energy can be consumed by the belief that our thoughts and actions do not matter.
You can’t go down that dark spiral, feeling like there’s nothing you can do to have an impact in the world, when in fact, the opposite is true.
You can make a difference
This experience has been an amazing reminder that every little bit of action, when it comes from a place of love and kindness, makes a difference. Over the course of the last several months, we’ve seen people mobilize and start to develop a voice in social consciousness. That is important for our broader community, but you can’t get caught up thinking about global affairs all the time.
Focus on what is right around you. Where can you do good? Because, every single day there’s somebody that needs to know that people haven’t forgotten about them. That they are remembered. That you love and cherish them, even though you can’t be there with them physically all of the time.
Positive side effects
There has been one key positive side effect of this project of ours. People who felt like they were alone in their struggle – like they had been marginalized – have been reminded that they are loved. They have been shown there is a large community of people who will rally to their aid when it is needed.
Look around in your life. Look around as you’re walking down the street. Look around and be present to your own circumstances, your own need. Shift your consciousness so that it is also focused outward. Don’t get caught focusing only on yourself and what is wrong with the world. That mindset blinds you to opportunities to be a force for change. If you feel like your $5, or your helping hand isn’t good enough, I’m here to tell you that is a false belief. I’ve just witnessed it first hand, and I’ve seen the impact of every single action that people took to rally around to support us, and to support our cousin Mary in her time of need.
My wish for you, is this: as you go out and about your business and your life, remember that you matter. Your words matter. Your thoughts matter. What you write and put out there matters. It’s all cumulative and it all counts.
When you pay attention, every once in a while an opportunity will present where you can have a bigger impact. You can mobilize a community.
As someone who’s always actively creating, know that with every thought, with every feeling, and with every action – you are responsible for what you’re putting out there. Pay attention! You have means to make a difference.