Thursday, July 14, 2016

Find Your Good

I've never been much of an activist. I don't participate in protests. I'm not one for a sit-in. And God help me if I ever try to go on a hunger strike. Don't get me wrong, I have beliefs and principles. I'm just not that involved, and I doubt I will ever be that type of person. However, I have found my own way to "change the world", and in light of the hate spreading throughout our nation so rampant right now, I'm beginning to understand why it's not only good for the cause, it's good for me, too.

When there's a tragedy like a mass shooting, and people are trying to make sense of it, this quote from Mr. Rogers almost always starts circulating on social media. I know I've shared it a time or two.

In other words, find the good. I say, find YOUR good. Start with something to make yourself feel better, and the rest will follow. Whether you're going through a personal struggle, or you're tired of seeing all the violence in the news, giving your time on your terms is a easy way to bring what really matters into focus.

Again, don't get me wrong, I can lie around, play on my phone and watch TV for hours with the best of them, and not get off the couch for a whole weekend. With snacks and a pug, of course. And that's fine, sometimes you just need to do that. I'm a staunch supporter of "me time". But I think part of the reason I began going to the animal shelter this year was because I have all the "me time" I can stand since I work overnight. And there's only so much TV-watching, nap-taking, house-cleaning, errand-running, pool-sitting I can do before I start to feel like I'm just worthlessly killing time. Plus, I don't have any kids, and I don't see myself going down that path. That takes up a lot of time. That is a major contribution to society. So if I'm not doing that, what am I doing?

I found the HSYC online and read up on how to volunteer. The guidelines and instructions were super easy. I knew exactly what I could do, what was expected of me and how to go about it. I didn't have to do anything I didn't want to do, and I could come at my leisure. Pretty soon, I was walking dogs a few days a week, even taking them to adoption events. And like I said, it does me just as much good as it does them. Especially when I've had a rough day at work.  Any worries seem to wander away, replaced by wagging tails and wet tongues.

Now I'm looking at other ways to donate my time. I've applied at CMS to help children learn how to read. Because I like to read. So far, I've received a clearance status as "unsupervised without driving". Whatever that means. I'm waiting to find out the next step. And, if for some reason that doesn't work out, or if I just really never want to be lazy again, I'm going to check out what I could do at the library to help out.

It really doesn't take a lot, and you can do it. Start small, with something you love. Why it never occurred to me before to volunteer at a humane society, I'll never know. For once in my life, I was looking for a way to get to know my community since I moved away from home. Which was odd. Normally, I prefer to mind my own business and keep to myself, being an introvert and all. But something about the CLT area made me not only want to explore my surroundings and what they had to offer, but also see what I could offer in return.   

So get out there. Find your good. For yourself and whatever cause you choose to back. There are so many different things you can do for non-profits. You don't have to work in a soup kitchen if you don't want to. Or if you do, go for it. We have something in CLT called Share Charlotte where you can find all the different charities, what they're about and how you can help. I'm sure there are similar organizations across the board that make it easy like that.

Alas, the time has come for me to bring this blog to an end. You see, I also volunteer as a pug snuggler. Now that's a demanding job.

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