There’s the common pitfall of limiting our efforts to volunteer and help those in need during certain times of the year. During Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, facilities have to turn volunteers away. That’s a direct contrast to the other 360ish days of the year. We live in a nation with vast needs and our hands are a critical tool in alleviating some of that pain and heartache. If volunteering were homegrown through the course of the calendar year, it would have a monumental impact on the dynamics of the character and integrity of each family member. If you want to knock your family’s socks off in regards to bonding, communicating and character? Volunteer!
Teenagers get a bad wrap….
There’s a stigma attached to teenagers being selfish and self absorbed- but when they are inundated with messages of self on a daily basis, how are they to know otherwise? Whether through social media, peers, the latest gadgets and society, the only message they receive is about them. As parents, guardians, uncles, cousins. grandparents, etc. it is up to us to lay the foundation that they can counteract these messages in the gunk of self. Change of heart and mindset can happen, but it takes time, patience and consistency.
It’s unnatural to think of others before us. We are innately wired to focus on our needs and wants prior to anyone else. This is where re-wiring our thinking and our mental health, field the greatest change in the young people, who’m I have worked with. You can literally watch their eyes open, minds begin to turn and their hearts soften. Sixteen years of classroom presentations, assemblies and lectures pale in comparison to the real thing.
Do you want a stronger relationship with your spouse or significant other? Would you like to communicate more efficiently with your kids? Are you concerned with the impulsive self- motivated behaviors by the mass of the younger generations? Do you want to rock their world and instill a level of character and integrity that will lay the pathway for the strongest your family/ relationship has ever been? Volunteer. Get your hands dirty- allow your perception erode against the tug of self- indulgent behaviors. You can do this. Make this next year about growth, empathy and appreciation that will add depth to yourself, and your family like you have never imagined.
How we can make this change
In order for the characteristics described above to manifest themselves into a reality, this can not be a one shot deal. Volunteering has to be ongoing and at least twice a year. The one and done challenge simply does not work.
1. Take the age go your young people into consideration and make a list of what population you as a family, friend, co-worker, spouse, etc. would like to serve.
2. You don’t have to retreat the wheel, roll with something already in the works. It will make your efforts so much easier.
3. Contact programs in your community: Churches, Temples, Rotary Club, Lions Club, Salvation Army, Soup Kitchens, Homeless Shelters, Women’s Shelters and you local Animal Welfare Clinics.
4. Serve those who serve us: Police and Firemen, Guard Station, Military Serving Abroad (send care packages), your local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), etc.
5. Create your own projects: Neighborhood collections- blankets or socks for the homeless, cans for are food pantries or adopting a family in need for the holidays- heck, year round!
As adults, if we assume the lead in connecting out words with actions, there is unlimited potential. This positive domino effect on your younger people is inevitable. How awesome is that?~ take some time in making plan that will have an amazing impact on you, your family and those around you. Rock it out!
Peace, Love and Goodness!
-Erin Later Patterson
This Week’s Challenge:
We challenge you to make words transform into actions. As Erin writes, “allow your perception erode against the tug of self- indulgent behaviors”. This is exactly what Operation Beautiful Nation is about. Do not fall into the same routine of selfishness and greed.
Make sure to share your stories, adventures, photos, videos and more on social media!
Don’t forget the hashtag! #OperationBeautifulNation