Today I want to write about giving a shit. Seems like a strange name to give it, but it continues coming to me, which means the universe is nudging me to let go of my discomfort and write about it anyway. I have goals that I have set for 2017, mostly business, but this year I am setting a personal intention. The intention is to not be indifferent, not to ignore what is happening around me that makes me uncomfortable and to give a shit by stepping fully into my beliefs that all humans are created equally and should be treated as such.
Why this intention to give a shit and hopefully inspire others to as well? Because 2016 was a year where I kept hearing, even finding myself (yes, the CP girl), saying:
“I try not to give a shit.”
“I just ignore that because it is to uncomfortable.”
“If they don’t care, I won’t care.”
“I give up on even trying because no one cares anyway.”
“If our government doesn’t give a shit, why should I?”
“If I am not going to get anything in return, why should I give?”
“It is not happening in my country, my city, my neighborhood, my family so it doesn’t affect me.”
The truth is, it all affects us all. No matter where we are in the world, and the distant that is between us, we are all connected. Eventually, what happens in one place will trickle down to our own backdoor. I can speak of this with certainty because I am living it. Everything that I write about in Out of The Darkness, Into The Light, is my story, but now, by writing that story, I get to share it with someone else who may be on the same path, helping them, guiding them the way I was guided. It doesn’t get more Contagiously Positive (connected) than that.
We have become so accustomed to saying, “I don’t give a shit, I’m not going to give a shit, no one else gives a shit” that we actually stopped giving a shit. But if we truly want to unleash the inner Contagiously Positive Woman (or man) that is within, we must care about what is happening to us and around us.
We must care enough so that we create something better for the next generation that comes after us and the generation that comes after them. We must care about other human beings – humans who are homeless, sick, tortured or mistreated in any way other than a human way. We must care about ourselves, our health and the health of those that we love. Without our health what do we have? We must care about our happiness, joy and overall wellbeing and want the same for other people as well. Without love, what else matters? We must care for our own safety and the safety of everyone (including animals) around the world. We must care for our environment. Without a healthy planet, we ourselves cannot be healthy.
Here is the belief, the intention, the resolution that I so want to embrace in 2017: It is no longer okay to look the other way. It actually never was. This is our life, our planet, our body, and our mind. Do not leave it in the hands of someone else.
What I have realized when I find myself saying that I am only person, how can I make a difference, is that it only takes subtle shifts, little right actions, one random (not so random) act of kindness, one ounce of compassion, one dose of love to make something contagious.
Simple things like:
Helping someone carry their bags when you see they are struggling.
Not looking away from the homeless person on the street. If you have no money to give, say a little blessing on their behalf.
Changing your mindset from hate to love, negative to positive, bad to good.
Holding the door to allow for someone else to pass through first.
Smiling when someone passes you, instead of diverting your eyes to the ground, avoiding human contact.
Cooking healthy meals for you and your family.
Donating a day at a shelter, helping to serve food to those less fortunate.
Every time you go to the grocery, buying a couple canned goods for the donation bin.
Recycling, composting, or just not throwing your trash onto the street, but instead crossing over to put it in the garbage can.
Doing something for someone without expecting anything in return.
Not avoiding a conversation about the tragedies that are happening in the world. You don’t need to join a world peace mission to make a change. Just having empathy, instead of indifference, can start to create a shift.
You don’t have to give up meat, but learn about humane animal practices and buy local meat from a reputable local farmer. Supporting your local farmers is essential to their livelihood and ensures that we are eating and serving our family healthy food.
Do something kind even when everyone else tells you that it won’t matter anyway. Because guess what? It does matter. You matter. What you say matters. What you do matters. What you think matters.
We must stop saying “I don’t give a shit” and actually start giving a shit.
Laurie-ann Sheldrick, The Contagiously Positive Girl