Rising Up

Sometimes I think I need to stop reading the news. It's too depressing and so often full of despair and meanness. But then I figure: It's all happening whether or not I read it, so I may as well go ahead and see what's what. At the least, I can then direct positive thoughts and vibes to some very key places here in the US and around the globe. Sending a little love into the great wide open feels more productive to me than holding in all that bitter-sour feeling left in my gut after reading some of the stories.

The school my children attended when we lived in Montana (Here's a shout out to Cayuse Prairie: Hi guys!) had a beautiful slogan. Simple and honest, it's what the faculty strives to impart to the students and the community: "Rising Up to Make a Difference." The beauty of this sentiment is that it doesn't tell you how. It just tells you, yup, this is what we're doing. And it leaves it open. To anyone. To everyone. In any way making a difference can be achieved.

It doesn't say you have to be a certain age, a particular religion, or a specific skin color. That you can only do this if you have X amount of money or if your family has come from an allotted background.  It doesn't say you're excluded if who you like is the wrong kind of person or if where you live in the wrong part of town. Disabilities are not a deterrent, IQ is no matter, political beliefs are irrelevant. And it doesn't say you get a participation award.

This means the only thing that matters is that you are you, and you can make a difference in someone's life, in the community, heck, in the world. And you do it because you can. Because you should. Because it is the right thing to do. Here and now, through your choices, your actions, and your words. Not only that, but you're stepping forward and standing behind your actions, taking ownership for what you accomplish.

For the rest of my life, I hope I'm Rising Up to Make a Difference, making waves of positive change with my feet firmly planted. Even if I can only make a difference in just one person's life today, it's something. Maybe it's just a brief interaction, like a smile or a helping hand with a door or letting someone go in front of me in line. Those simple gestures can help someone feel visible and validated as a fellow human being. It starts those positive vibes rippling ... and maybe, one day, those will be the stories splashed across the news.