I, like many others, have been in shock over the past few days. This post is not to tell anyone to “get over” their emotions or feelings. I encourage everyone to feel the shock, anger and whatever other emotions that come.What I do want to encourage you to do is to tap into those emotions and do something constructive and positive. Please do not think that you can not have a voice in regards to what is going to happen over the next four years. Please do not think that you can not have an affect in the actions that you take or don’t take. The reality is, I live in a state where only 59% of the registered voters voted.  Across the United States preliminary estimates are that only 56% of registered voters voted on Tuesday.  This means that over 40% of individuals did not exercise their given right. The main reasons individuals provide for not voting are lack of interest and a dislike for the candidate. [tweetthis]Every voice and opinion matters in this country but only if that voice is spoken. [/tweetthis]  

Today I want to provide you with suggestions on how you can impact and change the world you live in. 

Contact Your Elected Officials

Know who your elected officials are in your hometown, state, and Washington DC. Contact them via email and phone in regards to issues and concerns that you have in your area. These individuals represent your area. Become that squeaky wheel, whether it is about your street not having proper lighting or your concerns on a piece of legislation that involves health care. I reguarly send emails to my representatives in regards to issues concerning healthcare and hospice care. I have attended and lobbied at my state capital for domestic violence legislation. Being a presence about issues does have an impact and can change an official’s viewpoint.

Educate Yourself

Go beyond the click bait articles in your social media feed and educate yourself on issues. Follow legitimate news sources and be aware that most media will have a slight bias in one direction or the other. Perhaps read articles from two different viewpoints. Be able to speak about your beliefs and causes from an educated  and intellectual viewpoint. Please don’t say “I read on Twitter or Facebook.”

Support Causes You are Concerned About

This past election has many individuals discussing sexual assault and immigration. There are national, state and local agencies working on a daily basis to assist victims and also advocate for laws. These agencies need financial support. Make a pledge to yourself to regularly support a cause that is important to you. Agencies to consider include RAINN, a national anti- sexual violence association and the National Center on Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence.  If you feel strongly in regards to immigration, find your local agency that assists with helping immigrants to relocate. 

Volunteer

Get up from your computer and provide volunteer hours to a school or other agency. Although I do believe that writing is inspiration and an important way to create change, we all need personal interaction. In December, I am a running buddy with Girls On The Run. This is a program for elementary school girls that focuses upon self esteem and regular exercise. Although I can  not do weekly meetings, I can support a girl who does not have a family member to be with her at the race. Volunteer for programs that are against bullying. Serve at your local food pantry at times other than the holidays. We learn more about causes when we walk with them.

Be An Example

Live a life where one can look at you and say that you practice what you preach. Children are not only watching but adults are also. Each of us are human. We make mistakes, we say things we should not. However, if you are regularly trying to be supportive of those around you, inspiring with your words and living a positive life, others will recognize it. Don’t sink to the level of those who sling words, are hateful and simply mean. If more of us were willing to stop stereotyping, become involved and educated, we begin to change the world around us. These are only a small example of ways we can each change the world.I read other great suggestions such as supporting small business owned by immigrants or those in the LGBT community. It is important that we each realize we owe it to each other to speak out and be heard. Small actions can and do lead to significant changes. 

How are you changing the world you live in? 

Sheryl (5)

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22 Comments

  1. Living on Cloud Nine on November 11, 2016 at 6:54 am

    You have such a voice sweet lady! That last phrase is so on point. So many people don’t think the small things they do have significance. Such a rough week, may your weekend be sweet and beautiful like you!!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on November 12, 2016 at 8:15 am

      Thank you lady!!! We forget that small things can change the world sometimes. Here’s to a great weekend!!

  2. Stacia on November 11, 2016 at 7:51 am

    These are such good pieces of advice. Small things over time can add up into huge differences.

  3. Bourbon & Lipstick on November 11, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Thank you for this. I am still in shock over here and have been so down this week! Especially given some of our elected officials in this state. I’ve tried to think of what I could do… and this is a great list. I’m ready to donate and volunteer. Checking out Girls on the Run now!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on November 12, 2016 at 8:14 am

      Lindsay, We CAN make a difference!! I truly believe that. Yes, we may not like who is in power but we can sit by and just be idle. Too many causes and agencies need money or time from people. Let me know if you are interested in Girls On The Run – it is truly an amazing program making a difference in girls lives. I will be at the race on the first Saturday in December (I’m not sure how much running my group will be doing but we will be walking) – would love to have you and there may be other girls who need a buddy.

  4. Jessica Bradshaw on November 11, 2016 at 9:44 am

    This is a great post. It is completely ok for people to be in shock, or angry..heck..even experience all the stages of grief. However, it’s more also a great idea to do something productive about it. Get out there and change the world!!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on November 12, 2016 at 8:12 am

      So true, we do need to feel what we are feeling but we also need to remember that pity parties can last forever. I want people to put their energy to good use and make a change. Small changes add up.

  5. Meg D. Gonzalez on November 11, 2016 at 9:54 am

    This is a great post. I have read too many posts and status updates lately of people of people lashing out in shock. I do understand, but this is the first time I’ve heard someone say, “You’re upset? Do something about it.” It’s really refreshing.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on November 12, 2016 at 8:11 am

      Thank you Meg!! Many are putting too much energy into lashing out….. We need to be productive with our emotions and accomplish something!!

  6. Chrissy Z. on November 11, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Such a great post! I think everyone needs some time to come to terms with what is. I just hope things will calm down.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on November 12, 2016 at 8:10 am

      My hope is that things will calm down…… sadly, we live in a world of extremes and that is where everyone’s mind goes. I’m going to try my best to work on making small changes.

    • Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird on November 13, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      Hard for me to calm down when myself and others are suffering from direct hatred. So am I supposed to just sit back and hope the hatred stops? Just curious.

      • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on November 13, 2016 at 6:57 pm

        It angers me that individuals are experiencing direct hatred. It is important that you care for your safety emotionally and physically. My concern is that when we as a society react (which is understandable when there is concern for safety) rather than respond, then we will never establish a dialogue which can hopefully lead to greater understanding and hopefully changes. I will never say to sit back and wait. We must advocate but we also must advocate and fight for justice in the right manner.

  7. LoveinTheAirForce on November 11, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    So happy someone said it! A lot of my friends are so disillusioned right now and are threatening moving to Canada, and I’m just like, “You can still help America, even if you disagree with the direction it’s going in. Our country still needs you!” Thank you for being specific with HOW they can do that!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on November 12, 2016 at 8:09 am

      My hope is that if everyone even begins to focus upon ONE thing in their life to change, then what will the world begin to look like. It is far too easy to sit and complain about things not going the way we want and put no energy into it. It’s amazing how things can change if we begin to make changes.

  8. Katie Arnold on November 11, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Yes! I’ve had a really hard time hearing people complain and then hearing they didn’t vote..or a local public figure in my hometown that stated on his Facebook page that while he did vote, he chose not to vote for a presidential candidate. It hurt me that 1-he would do that and 2-he would publicly admit that when he’s in a position of influence and helping others realize they need to make their voices heard and vote. I just think that a lot of those people who couldn’t decide or felt like they had no option between the two main candidates actually did enough research to learn the differences between the two. But that’s my two cents and i’ll save the rabbit hole. 😉

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on November 12, 2016 at 8:08 am

      I do agree with you Katie!! Sadly, people think that their vote doesn’t matter or they are so tired of everything, they simply don’t care. Until we all begin to realize we can each make a change, we are going to continue with this thinking. There is no excuse for half of the country not voting.

  9. Savvy WorkingGal on November 12, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Excellent suggestions. I’ve never heard of Girls on the Run what a great idea. Also totally agree on reading from legitimate sources.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on November 13, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      Oh yes, legitimate sources! I see so many educated individuals often sharing pieces of information from unreputable sources. Girls On The Run is a wonderful program that is not that old. After listening to the curriculum, I often think we need one for adult women.

  10. Caroline @ In Due Time on November 12, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    So true. All the small changes matter and I myself need to be better about it

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on November 13, 2016 at 6:42 pm

      Caroline, we each do! It’s simply important that we remember we do make a difference (and girl, you touch many lives daily).

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