6 Ways to Be a Good Member of Your Community

Each of us must do our small part in maintaining the health and well-being of the community in which we live. You might think that your voice or your actions do not matter much in the big scheme of things, but it does. It matters because compassion is contagious. It matters because when one person uses their voice, it encourages the shy and silent voices of others to be free and express themselves.

Zen and IRIE1If we all strive to do our best to be the best person we can be individually, the ripple effect begins and reaches out to the people around us, to the community, to the country, to the world. Yep, I know that’s a mighty tall order, but I’m an optimist, so… it can and will happen.

1. Look through compassionate eyes. Make an effort to reach out to someone in need. Maybe a neighbor needs someone to talk to, maybe you saw a touching story on TV, maybe a friend of a friend needs support. Whatever it is, do something. The smallest gesture often makes a huge impact.

Maybe someone just needs a boost of confidence to turn their day around. Give them that. Maybe you’re sorting through last seasons clothes and getting rid of things. Give them to charity, or put a message out on social media – maybe a friend can use what you no longer need.

2. Respect. Imagine what a different world it would be if everyone respected each other no matter what their differences or beliefs were. Each major religion in the world teaches tolerance and respect, yet people don’t really apply that in their lives outside of church-going-days. If there will be peace, there must be respect for everyone regardless of anything. It’s really that simple!

3. Responsibility. Each person is accountable within their own life and own conscience to live responsibly. You really can’t say you don’t judge people and then turn around and judge them. You really can’t go around saying you are tolerant and then laugh at a racist joke. Changing the world means doing the same things in private that you preach in public.

4. Contribute. Communities are normally very diverse. Many bonds can be formed by stepping in and coming together to support others in your own community as well as people in other communities all together. Volunteer your time and meet new people in the process.  Participate in clothing drives, food drives, help in soup kitchens or shelters, give time or money or possessions – just do something!  Involve your children in your efforts that they may be instilled with the desire to spread good-will, hope, compassion, and respect for all.

5. You are an example. Others are watching you all the time. Half the time you never notice it. Children for instance, they’ll pick up on everything they see and everything they hear. You might think you are whispering but kids have intense hearing – and believe me their radar will hear you and process what you are saying. Make sure what you do and what you say are in conjunction. Not only will it make YOU a better person and better member of society, but it teaches our children a healthy way of life.

You are also being observed when out in public. The times you get angry while driving, the frustration at a packed venue, people walking slowly in front of you. People see how you process these little things in life. Whether it’s your own children or a stranger, the negative energy doesn’t go undetected. It’s touching everyone around you. You are being touched by the energy of others as well.

Try not to take everything personally and walk away from things that frustrate. You’ll put less stress on your own mind and body as well as those around you. Be a good example.

and last but not least:

6.  Be grateful.  When we are grateful for everything, including the things that are difficult.  We can learn something from each and every circumstance we face.  You have to go through life and ask yourself, “What is this teaching me?”  “What can I learn from this?”  and the more you practice this, you learn that most experiences aren’t as bad as they first appear, plus the fact that you learn to get through things – knowing that there is something to be learned in every instance.   Look for things to be thankful for every day, and your life will shift into appreciating more and more each day.  You will find yourself smiling more, you will learn patience and strength.

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