Like many of us probably are, I’m thinking about what I can do to effectuate progressive change, dismantle systems of oppression, protect our environment, ensure respect for all people and peoples and generally make the world a bit better than it was when I came into it. I donate, I attend community meetings, I dialogue with people who don’t agree with me, I show up physically and via the phone, email and online for the causes that matter to me and I try to boost the signal of important voices.
But a lot of this is big picture stuff - trying to make changes in society as a whole. And while this is good and great, sometimes we can lose ourselves in these big fights and in the frustration and anger than come with a loss and regrouping, and forget a little bit of the close to home things we can do to just be kind.
I sit on the advisory board of a not for profit, The Kelly Way Foundation, that has been thinking about way to “be the light” and to bring positive actions into people’s lives. One easy thing to do is commitment to reaching out to the people you love and care for with a note of encouragement or appreciation. A note to say you care can be a powerful thing to another person. And right now The Kelly Way is offering a set of ten “be the light” habit notecards to anyone who signs up for their note writing challenge to send ten handwritten notes over the next year.
That’s going to be my small thing that I focus on to keep me grounded in the values that underpin pretty much all of my political and social views - be compassionate, keep your promises, create positivity, spread love to everyone. If you want to do the same you can visit thekellyway.org/tkw-challenge/
Other small things I’m all about lately include: a suggestion on Twitter the other day to contact your local public school and donate money to pay off overdue student lunch accounts, because not all schools offer free breakfast and lunch and not all students can afford even the reduced price meals; and hosting friends and friends of friends at my parents house outside DC for the women’s march on January 21.
What about y’all? How are you keeping kindness and humanity alive?