Who Are You? How to Make a Real Difference

Vote with how you live your life.

I usually make a concerted effort to stay away from political issues on this blog.  There are so many more important things (when one looks at the big picture) than what’s going on politically; who’s backstabbing who, and who is lying about whatever rumor to make the other side look bad or not.  It’s better for peace of mind’s sake to stay above all that pettiness.  Though it’s easier said than done sometimes, especially nowadays when the political atmosphere seems to permeate everything we say or do, whether we want it to or not.

I’m a former political science major, so I have a natural inclination to have a big opinion (and oftentimes a big mouth!) about issues. There have been times when I’ve found myself being willingly dragged down into the mud into what began as a harmless political discussion but quickly devolved into useless name-calling and intelligence-ripping.  Not my best moments for sure, and I always walk away from those online conversations not happy because I “won,” but feeling ashamed for the level I had to stoop in order to make that all-important point.

Then it’d devolve from there.  I may have “won” that debate, but my mood had soured, and it would then creep in on my “real” life.  I’d have less patience with the kidlets. I’d found I’d wasted precious minutes of my day on the “discussion” when in actuality no one’s mind was changed… and if anything, people’s current positions were probably solidified even more.  Wasting time is a pet-peeve of mine, (if you’ve ever read the Five Love Languages, time is one of the biggys for me!) so that made it even worse.

Finally, I decided, no more debating politics on social media.  It’s just wasn’t worth the cost.  It wasn’t worth me bringing that extra baggage home to my family.  I’ve done pretty well; I post politics on my own page but make a concerted effort not to go looking for a debate like I used to.

The difference has really been a load off though.  It’s been a relief to not have that extra burden. It’s not my job to convince people they support the “wrong” cause.  If they do, that’s on them.  I can’t fix the world alone. Even trying to do it one little social media argument at a time is a lost cause.

I can, however, take charge of how I live.

If I say I’m for an issue, what am I actually doing in real life to support that cause?  How am I actually making a difference for it?  Am I sacrificing time and effort?  Is what I’m doing *real* support or merely virtual?  Am I relationship-building? What about volunteering for a specific, related organization? Am I starting that non-profit, or giving financially to the cause?

It’s important to be real.  To have those hard conversations.  To step outside our comfort-zones.  Virtual words are nice, but like the old Facebook game “Farmville” from years ago, you can click on those crops all day long, but at the end of the game, how many veggies are you actually going to have stored up in your fridge?  It takes real-life effort to have real-life results.  Vote with how you live your life.

How are you making a difference?

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One response to “Who Are You? How to Make a Real Difference”

  1. I appreciate this. This year will be my first time voting in a presidential election, and I’m not even sure how to vote, if I vote at all (seems pretty impossible right now). This post was a good reminder that my actions as an individual matter more than who I voted for or who’s in office. Very reassuring!! ???

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