I have never been politically active. My mom and dad always kept their voting decisions confidential and I generally follow that practice too. I don't display bumper stickers or wear political pins. However, I always vote, having NEVER missed an election since I turned 21(even the tiny ones with only one local issue on the ballot).
When my candidate or issue loses, my practice is to find small ways to work at a grassroots level to facilitate change or support conscientious and ethical behavior. For instance, I recycle as best I can; I try to choose "green" action whenever I can. I never let the water run while I'm doing dishes or brushing my teeth. With regard to controversial issues like abortion, I look for ways to facilitate wise decision making, and I donate to my daughter-in-law's annual walk for local pregnancy agency. Economically, I've turned a big corner and work consistently to live within my means and eliminate previous credit debt. I know I could be doing much more in many ways, but I try to not beat myself up for only making small steps in the direction of living and acting responsibly.
And sometimes I accidentally do something that feels very good. Last week, I got an email message from Code Pink about a single mom, Jocelyn Voltaire, in New York state who lost her eldest son in Iraq and who was also unable to keep up with skyrocketing mortgage payments so she about to lose her home.
This amazing video clip by American News Project describes Jocelyn's plight.
Her story was so compelling that the chance to help seemed like a no brainer. Plus I was inspired by my daughter-in-law Jenny's blog post Coats, Coats, and more Coats.
I donated $25 immediately to help Jocelyn Voltaire.
Apparently, in less than 2 hours with the assistance of the Internet, Code Pink raised enough money to save Jocelyn's home. It felt so exciting to be a tiny piece of a bold statement. While our government has taken billions of our tax dollars to bail out the wealthy, a bunch of Americans came together to bail out a desperate mother.
Now, I'm looking for other small ways to help. And so, of course, I was immediately offered a suggestion in the form of Blog Action day which was a day dedicated to talking about poverty on blogs across the world. I actually missed the day, for it happened on Oct 15, but I know it's not too late to address the topic. In fact with the economy flopping all around me, any day is a good day to consider ways to do something.
Check out this list of 88 Ways to Do Something About Poverty Right Now. I'm going to choose a few to do right away! Won't you join me?