All summer I have had my Doodle Bug coloring and putting stickers on lunch bags for kids in our area who rely on someone to bring them what is likely their only meal for the day. Poor girl... she's just 2 1/2 and I've already got her doing her part.
Older kids can do stuff too... click here to read about the Lemonade Kid. It is important for kids to learn early that the little things they do make a difference. And it is never to late to learn the important lessons that helping another person can give you.
Since my Doodle Bug knows the Auburn Fight Song and her lovie is orange and blue, perhaps a new goal for her is to make it into the Auburn Villager news for doing something for someone else.
Few of us are immune to the frustrations and challenges of daily life—family problems, conflicts at work, illness, stress over money. When we get depressed or anxious, experts may recommend medication and/or therapy. But a newly emerging school of thought suggests that a simple, age-old principle may be part of both the prevention and the cure: Help others to help yourself.
Great summary article of a few research projects that look into the health benefits of giving. The good thing about this article is that it also gives good information on the other side of the coin - when giving is bad for your health. Additionally, the articles suggestions prove that giving doesn't have to be costly.
Over the last few years doing this DP work, I have met and emailed with a number of really awesome people out there who have great hearts and are doing simple things to make the world a better place. If you are here for the first time, you may not know, but prior to becoming a mommy and solo business owner, I worked for 20 years with individuals with severe and persistent mental illnesses - schizophrenia and bipolar disorder mainly. Subsequently I do have a huge place in my heart for people who suffer with these illnesses.
So it should not be a surprise that I want you to support an endeavor of Lisa Kays, a person who I've actually met as a result of DP and who connected me to the Washington Area Women's Foundation. Now she is going through the torture of graduate school, but has connected me with another unique endeavor.
So here's the deal...
She needs some help raising funds for a documentary that will be filmed by the residents of St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, DC. Saint Elizabeths is Washington, DC's public psychiatric
facility. It provides intensive, inpatient care for individuals with
serious and persistent mental illness who need the security and
structure to assist in their recovery. Saint Elizabeths also provides
mental health evaluations and care to those committed by the courts.
People with mental illness are an often misrepresented and institutionalized men and women with mental illnesses are even more misunderstood. This project is designed to create a platform for the individuals in care
at Saint Elizabeths to speak to directly about their lives -- to
share their stories with the larger community. Click here to read more about the project...
You can also check them out on Facebook. Click here
The project needs to raise $5000 before it can begin. The good news is that I am assured that every single dollar would be welcome.
About five months ago, I had a Facebook debate with a friend about medical malpractice. It started with a simple status update and evolved into a heated volley where we had to agree to disagree. At the core was a difference in how we view our rights. Note: the person I was debating with was a lawyer
He repeatedly asserted that everyone had a right to litigation and for a jury to decide what I was due. While I can't really argue with that, I kept thinking that no amount of money or court action could bring back what medical negligence takes away. Justice, for me, is a little more difficult to come by. No court action can reverse death, disability, or chronically poor health. Furthermore, I believe that pain and suffering are a human condition that are as intrinsic to our life as breathing and our heartbeat. So for me, it is utterly ridiculous to assume that a court or a lawyer would have an adequate panacea for those.
Musing on these things made me realize that justice for me is as simple as a sincere apology and an individual attempt to make things as right as possible. I realized that this notion of justice comes from the fact that I feel a duty to other people to do my best at all times and when I fail, I am obligated to say I'm sorry and to make restitution.
This simple debate brought to light that I would rather people in my world respond to duty than be compelled to action by a list of rights that have determined for us. So in my day-to-day wanderings through this life, I have been asking myself "What is my duty here? or "Do I have a duty to perform here?" I have found that I don't always have a duty to act. In some cases, my duty is to simply be a quiet presence or to let things unfold and not attempt to control the situation to my ends.
In focusing on what my duty is in situations, I have found that my 'rights' have lost the sparkle they once had. They are simply too dependent upon other people granting them to me.
So until further notice, I am going to live according to my duty and put my 'rights' on the backburner.
I feel like I lead an abundant life. I have everything I need (and I am thankful). I realize that I sit here in a free country, where I can say what I think, act in whatever way I deem appropriate. Yes, there are laws and consequences for breaking those laws, but in general, they are pretty well articulated and I understand them. Additionally, I have never experienced anything that has intentionally violated my rights. So, I firmly admit that if I was a child in the Sudan or even a poor person anywhere, I would view things differently.
So what is the balance between duty and rights?
If we were all to act according to our duty to one another, would that be enough for worldwide social justice?
What would that kind of worldwide social justice climate look like?