As many of you may be doing, I have watched all the political activism that has been happening all over our nation. A major focus has been directed to our legislative bodies where laws are enacted and funding is allocated to different issues that need change or support. There is emphasis on protesting what we are displeased with which in some cases has led to violence. I acknowledge the need to communicate with our legislators and I support the kinds of protests that make a statement that is congruent with our beliefs for the best interests of our citizens.
What is interesting to me is that as much as our legislators have power to make laws, create executive orders and empower movements through funding, the real work that is more potent and effective is what happens in each of our local communities. That truly is where we experience both our most inspirational moments and some of our deepest regrets.
Perhaps we have been thinking inadequately about activism. We tend to go to our federal and state capitols for help when in fact, the most significant problems that need our greatest attention is in our families, neighborhoods and communities. That is where we confront hunger, our need for vaccines, the mental health crisis, educational deficits, domestic violence, child abuse, drug and alcohol addiction and varied forms of racial biases.
Hungry families need food pantries. Families that are homeless need housing. Our vulnerable health-compromised seniors need accessible healthcare. We all need vaccines and additional staff who administer those shots. So many of our youth and some misguided adults need mentoring. Our abused children need foster care. Those who are addicted need professional care and on-going support for their families. Our schools need trained staff to help with students who are struggling with their mental health. Parents who have children with special needs require additional support to help them guide their children. The unemployed need opportunity to work in productive vocations that fit their capabilities. The list goes on.
As we look at these issues, there is so much we can do in our communities for our fellow Americans. We can contribute time, money and in-kind resources. We can mentor. We can create momentum in our churches to create food pantries and other forms of practical help. We can volunteer in organizations that transport individuals to healthcare appointments. We can work in our schools, counties, townships and cities to be part of the leadership who make a difference in our decisions. We can volunteer our skills to varied organizations who help those who have significant deficits. That list of possibilities is also endless.
I have experienced what can happen in a region, a county and a state when we utilize our good will and community resources to help those in need. Lakeside trains schools, counties, organizations and communities in trauma-informed care. We have seen movements begin that have made significant changes in how we help people in need that are meaningful and have very little controversy.
Imagine if we had an entire country that applied our strengths and individual resources to work specifically on the problems within our communities. We certainly need laws and funding for that help. But a level of community activism that is based on providing solutions and strategies would make an amazing difference. Rather than focus on our legislatures, perhaps an all-out effort to help the communities we live in would provide resolve, hope and peace to our communities. That solution-based advocacy and focus would make a huge difference and perhaps we could find some of the unity, resolve and peacefulness that we are in desperate need of in America today!