Be pro-something instead of anti-something

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Helene Gayle, Care USA President and CEO, learned early on in her adult life that giving to others was a necessary part of her participation in this world.  It makes sense, then, that she heads a major international humanitarian agency that delivers emergency relief and support for long-term development projects.  This organization is nonsectarian, impartial, and non-governmental.  In my estimation, what could be better than that?  In the book, Getting There by Gillian Zoe Segal, Ms. Gayle had this to say about effecting social change:

Social change is better achieved by being for something (rather) than against something. Growing up, I was part of a protest generation. We protested the war and stood in support of liberation struggles in Africa. Whenever we saw a problem, we were “against” it.

It’s easy to think that by being against something you’re standing up for a cause, but if you want to have a greater impact, you need to ask yourself, “What do I stand for and what do I want to happen?”

Angry personIn this world, there exists a me against her/us against them mentality that causes us to lose sight of where our focus should be.

  • If you’re against the destruction of our environment by chemical or climate means, do something that will affect some sort of change regarding this unfortunate and ongoing disaster;
  • If a certain political candidate irks you beyond measure, support a candidate you can get behind rather than expending wasted energy on your strongly held frustrations of him or her;
  • If gun control – or the right to bear arms – is your thing, do something about it, support the cause in constructive and beneficial ways.  Striking out against either side benefits no one;
  • If there are people that grate on you in such a way that you spend an inordinate amount of time complaining about them, leave those complaints behind and start talking positively about those who impact you in a beneficial way;
  • If you’re fed up with the homeless or other under-served people who – in your estimation – are a blight on our society, contribute to food banks, or job and mental health programs that provide needed assistance that give a hand up to those who don’t have it as good as you.

Happy womanI could go on and on with more examples, but my point is that we all could do well to recognize the profit gained by being for a particular person/ideology/program/behavior, rather than contributing to the rhetoric that only serves to bolster our anti-everything mentality.

5 thoughts on “Be pro-something instead of anti-something

    Jill Weatherholt said:
    September 16, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    Lazy people complain and don’t take action. Thanks for reposting, Irene. Enjoy your weekend!


      boomer98053 responded:
      September 16, 2016 at 5:45 pm

      We can be responsive without being reactive. A good plan, I think. Thanks, Jill.

      Liked by 1 person

    boomer98053 responded:
    September 16, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Reblogged this on Baby Boomers and More and commented:

    For the next few Fridays, I am going to re-blog articles I’ve written over the years that address being a positive influence on the world around us. My about-face, (see my post Good Starts with Me) got me thinking about whether or not I’ve sufficiently addressed topics that provide encouragement to live a life centered around acts of kindness for others. Turns out I’ve written 216 posts on this subject. But have no fear, I won’t post all of them, but I will select a few to offer you on a weekly basis for awhile. I hope you enjoy them.


    vicki said:
    September 8, 2015 at 10:59 am

    I love this piece of writing….it helps a lot when I consider one of the candidates for the presidency. Thank you. Your friend, Vicki


      boomer98053 responded:
      September 8, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      Wow! It’s so good to hear from you, Vicki. I feel all warm and fuzzy, knowing that you’re reading my posts! Regarding your comment, yes, it would be so refreshing to see candidates speak affirmatively on what they believe and what they want for this country, instead of spending their time cutting down their opponents. Not sure this way of “campaigning” will change in our lifetime, but we can hope, can’t we?


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