Tag Archives: community

What If We Were Bold?

It’s story time! So get comfortable, listen and prepare to be challenged.

A girl sits in a coffee shop. Visibly upset, she fumbles around on her phone texting. She leans back in the chair and stares hard at nothing in particular. Giving up, tears fall down her cheeks and she looks down in defeat. Frustratedly she checks her phone again, swiping back and forth to different pages. Momentarily she notices two women sitting in a booth beside her. She doesn’t pay much attention to them, but soon enough she notices they’re talking about faith. Time feels like an eternity as it passes by. Still struggling, she gathers her things, disappears into the washroom and wipes away her tears. Then she passes by the women, still talking about church and faith, and leaves the coffee shop.

This story really struck me hard today. Know why? It’s because that’s actually my true story. I am that girl, struggling and crying in the coffee shop, feeling overwhelmed with the stresses of life. But how many times have I been like those women? Have I talked about my faith with a friend or family member, when there is someone around me hurting? I’m sure there have been times I haven’t noticed or even ignored people.

We’re all so busy now that we don’t have time for others. We don’t notice. Now in order to get help we have to book an appointment with someone whose job IS to listen to you.

The challenge for myself and for you all is this question: what would happen if we were bold? What if we took time to look around us? If we listened to others, and reached out, despite it being abnormal or awkward, what impact would we have on our neighborhoods and cities? What if you are the one, that by reaching out, changes or saves someone’s life?

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ~Gandhi

-A

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I Appreciate…

To start, I’m going to take a minute to say what I appreciate.

  • AIR – air, or clean air, isn’t something everyone in the world has. Anyone who has breathing problems, or lives where the air polluted, can understand how vital good air is! Air affects every aspect of life – actually, it KEEPS us alive!
  • WATER – For a long time I have been someone who really really likes drinking water. But that doesn’t mean I’ve always consciously appreciated it. Water is so important for living healthy but, again, isn’t something everyone has access to.
  • FELLOWSHIP – I know sometimes I don’t truly think about the great people (friends, family, and peers) I have around me until something bad happens where I’m stretched and my need for them is brought into the light.

There are times in life where things happen that make you truly appreciate the blessings you have! But am I the only one, who after experiencing such times, vows: “I will never take ____ for granted again”! Then what happens? Slowly and surely we forget about it; it can so easily slip out of our distracted minds. Then we usually don’t think about it again until another big, or shocking, event brings those thoughts back to forefront of our memory.

Hey! What if I want to be the one who enjoys life and remembers everything that I have to be thankful for? Is there any hope for me?

There is always hope! So, I have thought of some things that I’m going to try so I can hold onto those good things.  The blessings; the big and the small.

1. Do something daily to acknowledge what you have or appreciate in life! 

Maybe you like writing in a journal, and you could make space to say the positive things (like that friend you just spent time with, etc.)!

Or you could fill a jar.

Or you could just take some time everyday to consciously think about the benefits you have where you are (your job, owning a car, having clean water, etc.). Or be creative with it: think of a way that would be memorable for you!

2. Community!

As soon as you say “community” it opens a whole other world of topicsI However, I’m going to use it to say: “talk about it”! In my experience, if you talk to someone, (a friend, group, coworker, etc.), about the things you appreciate, then you’re more likely to remember it later.

Each sentence can be a conversation starter. For example, “Hey, I really like water. It’s so great that we have this privilege in North America!” Or “I’m glad to have access to healthcare here, I can finally breathe properly!”

In this North American society, we have no problem with sharing negative news with others. Look, it’s everywhere on our TVs, radios, and on the internet. But If we share the good things with our connections –  friends and neighbours – then maybe we can help more forward a movement of people who won’t forget or take for granted the small, but hugely important, things in life!

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I know 3 is a good number, but 2 is good too so I’m going to stop there. Let me know your thoughts on actively keeping in mind what we want to appreciate!