Guest Author - Lisbeth Cheever-Gessaman
There are things in this life that we want to do. And then there are things in this life that we don’t really want to do, but we want to be able to say that we’ve done them because we know that we should, really.
Dieting. Exercise. Getting involved in Human Rights.
It’s cache to say “Oh, I just got back from my Yoga class". I should know as I say it each and everytime I get back from mine, with an admitted preening and pride that belies the drudging act of will it took to drag my butt there in the first place. Don’t bother emailing me if you are a devout Yoga enthusiast who only ever took it up for the love of it. I admire and detest you by default. No, I am speaking more to those of us that for whom the discipline of will is an ongoing struggle, not to mention the mastery of Downward Dog, but I digress.
Human Rights is a topic that invariably every human with which I converse regarding it lends itself to the inevitable phrase;
“I really should do more, I know.”
Like exercise or dieting, it’s a focus of the will competing in a hyperactive attention-deficit society with other equally important things (and some not so much so) which often gets the back burner in the process. Of these things, believe me, I completely grok.
But, like exercise or dieting, activism is something that gives you an immediate rush of well-being directly afterward, a warm and tingly glow in your heart chakra (see - I am learning much from those classes) from having followed through on Doing The Right Thing. Moreover, where diet and exercise deal predominately with the health of the individual body, activism benefits the collective soul of the entire earth and her splendid and divine inhabitants.
Pretty good for a few minutes worth of work, no?
Getting involved in social conscientiousness is the first step in creating the sort of world we desire – and it neither difficult or time-consuming must it be. Here are, in fact, ten things that you can do right now, from the comfort of wherever you are, to change the world.
Like sit-ups for the earth. Or not. Either way - JUST DO IT.
1) Join Amnesty International. It’s free.
2) Join Online Volunteering . Several volunteer opportunities are available catering to a range of skill sets and best of all? You do them from HOME.
3) Plan a ‘Free Tibet’ Party. Educate yourself about the plight of the Tibetans in Exile. Serve Tsampa and Po Cha and pass out flyers.
4) Fight the Death Penalty already.
5) Sign the 'Declaration of Life'.
6) Sign a petition to stop child labor now.
7) Plan a party for kids on 'International Human Rights Day' (Dec.10th) replete with fun customs from other countries.
8) Commit yourself to action by beginning here. Do even one of these things and post it to the forums to show the world that you are an Army of One.
9) Adopt a sister from Women for Women International, where for a year, you will correspond with a woman in need from another country, watching her grow into a trade which will assist her in supporting herself. I did this last year and it was one of the most spectacular experiences of my life – we still trade letters to this day.
10) Teach Diversity through the holidays by choosing a different holiday each year and learning about it. Buy a Driedel (or make one) for Hanukkah, study Kwanzaa traditions, educate yourself on Pagan customs. Teach your children that a diverse world is the only one in which we will be able to maintain and cherish respect for each others individuality.
Footnote: If you do even one of these things, please email me and let me know. I vow a personal response to every email I receive along with a heartfelt thanks for making the difference, and sincerely pray that all of you wonderful people overflow my mailbox thusly leaving me with permanent writers cramp and making that almost a virtual impossibility.
I mean that, too. More than you'll ever know.