It only takes a few moments of watching the local, state, national, or world news to realize that the planet we live on can be a cold and uncaring place. Droughts, war, starvation, and violence seem to run rampant in different parts of the world; some of which may even affect you where you live. It can often feel as though all hope is lost and there is nothing you can do about it. You may feel so small in a world of such monumental and catastrophic problems. Then there's the fact that you yourself must tend to your own issues as well as those of your family and close friends. What could you possibly hope to do beyond that?
If you read the history of mankind's struggle upon this earth to achieve basic rights such as certain freedoms, you will find that time and time again individuals such as yourself who single-handedly sparked revolutions causing sweeping changes across entire continents. Both people of note (such as world leaders and military commanders) and those who had previously been unknown (every day lay people such as yourself) paved the way for those who would follow. In America, and other developed countries, the freedoms which exist – do so because of the words spoken and the bloodshed by those who preceded their current populations. Without their sacrifices things would be very different indeed.
Is it therefore now the duty and obligation of each and every one of us to go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that we do not lose the freedoms we have and enjoy? Additionally, should we not also assure that others, who do not yet possess our freedoms, have the same opportunities as us? These are the two things that everyone should be doing. It is your duty!
There are many ways to serve these two most honorable and necessary purpose. Most require only minor gestures which take up no more time and cost not much more than would purchasing a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop (some cost nothing at all but time).
To preserve our freedoms we must each of us, to some extent, become involved in local, state, and national government. It can be as simple as casting your vote in all elections which affect you, your family, your friends, and your government. This means finding out when and where you should go to cast your ballot in things like elections (school, city, state, and government). Every vote counts! In order to do this you must first educate yourself in what the pertinent issues are, then vote accordingly. Don't simply rely on the media for information; as they may be influenced by outside forces and popular opinion. Turn to the Internet and do some research of your own to gain a more well-balanced – well-rounded view of the issues. Yes this will take a few moments of your time, but as was stated, it is your duty to preserve and improve your way of life as well as that of your family, close friends, and government. If you allow others to do it for you, they will only be taking their own wants and desires into consideration. Don't complain about how things are in your children's school, local, state, or national governments if you yourself take control of how they are run. Don't fool yourself and leaving that your vote or words do not count.
To help encourage the positive development and improve the freedoms of others (whether local, state, national, or international) first assess what you have – both physically (such as extra clothing, shoes, electronics, appliances, housing, etc.) and financially. Figure out your excesses (what you have that you do not absolutely need). Next, search for legitimate proven nonprofit organizations whose activities encourage the positive development and improve the freedoms of others. You shouldn't have to go far in your search to find them. They are everywhere; from your local thrift store and food pantry, to your local Red Cross blood donation center and international aid foundations. The world is full of people, near and far who could use your help. It is up to you to decide what you would like to do, and how far you would like to go with it. Certainly you must live your own life and take care of those nearest you, but there is absolutely no excuse for not attending your responsibility to care for your neighbor as well; whether living in the home next to you, or in a country you have never heard of or been to on the other side of the world. Never, ever assume that your gift or donation is too small. If 100 people gave one dollar, that would equal $100. Now imagine if 100 people gave $10.
Many people complain about how bad things are, but they are unwilling to raise a single finger in an attempt for improvement. They'd rather make excuses; often saying things like "my vote wouldn't count anyway" or "the problem is much too large for me to handle alone". These are simply nothing more than excuses. As was stated before, history is fraught with both individuals and groups of people who changed the landscape of entire nations. It only takes of few individuals such as you, doing a small amount of work to move mountains and therefore achieve the desired effects.
So, what have you done lately?
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