(Remember this blog is aimed as a U.S. audience, though there may be some international application.)
1. Be Aware. It's not realistic for any individual to track every wrong done world wide, but you can try to be aware of negative and positive things going on within your sphere of influence. Take a little time to listen before speaking. If something concerns you, take some time to learn more about it. Verify the reliability of an article or meme before rushing to share it.
For example, The Onion is a parody site, not a news site.
2. Speak up. Remember you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, so speaking with tact is advisable. Many people interpret silence as consent, so if you're aware of something wrong or in need of discussion, try to say something. You may not instantly convince others, but a message repeated, particularly with evidence to back it up, does help sway others. (Be respectful of time and place. A funeral is not the time to lecture someone on issues.)
3. Breath and try to be calm. There are some horrible, awful, upsetting things in this world. It's normal to have an emotional reaction. But balance emotion with reason. If you stay perpetually upset, people will start writing you off as a basket case instead of listening. Check your actions and words and make sure you stay on target with your message. Change doesn't always come quickly, it often requires endurance.
4. Volunteer. If you don't have money, invest time in something you believe in. If your passionate about homelessness, volunteer at a shelter or with an organization that helps the homeless. If you're passionate about education, volunteer your services as a tutor or teachers aide. You may not be able to everyone, but helping one person at a time is still a significant contribution.
5. Be Prepared. Learn first aide. Arm yourself with knowledge about how to handle emergency situations. Know when to call child services or animal rescue or 911 (and when not to). Large scale changes often take time, but there are so many small opportunities to help others that will cross your path.
6. Contact Your Elected Officials. If you're an active voter, I applaud you. But regardless of for whom or how or even if you vote, you can still influence politicians by letting them know how you feel about the issues.
I will not go heavy into politics in this blog, but I do have an issue to bring to your attention.
The House has approved a bill that among other things would take land from the Apache to sell to a foreign company for mining. We can kill this in the Senate. Please take time to read:
San Carlos Apache Leader Seeks Senate Defeat of Copper Mine on Sacred Land
and sign the Petition:
and contact your Senator: