Hello again everyone,
I must apologize for being MIA from the blogosphere last week. I would like to say my absence was due to an illness that kept me from writing— which, for the record, was a contributing factor— but in truth, it had more to do with the fact that I felt discouraged.
You see, when I first began blogging my 52 Weeks of Giving, I wasn’t writing for my own self-satisfaction—I am perfectly content giving without trumpeting fanfare—what I long for, I mean really LONG for, are for my ideas to provide inspiration for all of us to be slightly less self-focused and instead, choose to give just a little bit more to others. But as the weeks progressed, I noticed a decline in the number of people viewing my site, and with those diminishing numbers, my motivation to keep writing also dwindled.
I started thinking, “What I am really accomplishing with my blog? I mean, why bother? What was I thinking? What can one, little-known author do to change the world anyway?” And with those questions, the other voices came—voices of those who at one point or another have stated things like, “I really admire what you are trying to do, but I just don’t have time/money/resources right now,” or, “I wish I could be as optimistic as you regarding the human condition. I don’t believe most people are willing to give anything of themselves to others, and they probably never will.”
So, what difference am I making anyway? I mean, again, I am just one person. What impact could I possibly have?
Then, something happened. Last week, amidst my internal struggle, out of the blue, ONE person “liked” one of my blog posts. Later that day, that person “liked” another. Over the course of the week, that same person came back again, and again, and “liked” seven of my posts on giving. As I battled over whether or not to continue my 52 Weeks—the writing and sharing of ideas part, not the giving, that is going to remain intact regardless—and as I dealt with all of the doubts over whether or not my writing could change anyone’s heart, one person had the power to change mine. One person, whom I do not know, was able to inspire me in such a simple way—one person.
Sometimes, we don’t realize how a simple, seemingly inconsequential act can lift another’s spirits and give them the motivation to keep going, and yes, I have decided to keep going—you can’t get rid of me that easily. I am going to keep trying to inspire you, whether you join me each week or not. Maybe this blog is getting through to someone, and maybe it’s not. Maybe it will change the world someday, and maybe it won’t. But I was shown how ONE person could inspire someone, so if I, through this little experiment, can inspire just one person, I will consider this blog to have not been written in vain. And Moolta, whoever you are, thank you. Although your devil face scares me just a little :), lol, I truly appreciate you taking the time to let me know you read my blog!
And now for this/last week’s Giving Challenge:
Domestic violence is a reality in this world, and I think we all agree that no person should live in fear of violence or sexual abuse. This past week, a friend of mine, with the support of her church and so many in her community, bravely left her abusive husband. She is safe, but unfortunately, he has confiscated all access to money, leaving her and her three young children in need. I am asking for everyone to pray for her and her children. Pray for the continued help from friends and family. Pray that she is directed to the proper resources that will allow her a safe transition into this new life.
Take it Further:
If you wish to take it further, please consider donating a small amount to help this family in their transition period. You can access her donation site here.
Another option is to donate to a state or local organization that helps victims of domestic abuse. To find a shelter or program near you, follow this link.
God’s Blessings to you,
Until Next Week,
I tried to be the first to like your post, but it wouldn’t let me – it would never be that I missed a step in the process?? Anyway, I, for one, love reading and commenting on your blog – it always makes me think and usually, act. 🙂
Thank you Jan. You know I love you!
Keep going! Your encouragement is important, even if to make a difference for just one. Here’s a recent example in my own life:
My husband and I intentionally moved into the neighborhood where our church is located so that we could make a difference there. It’s in an area of town with a bad reputation….gang activity, economic hardship, lots of rental properties, graffiti, bad press, etc. And it’s where back in the 60’s and 70’s was a thriving area of town. We believe God put us there for a reason. We started a Christian community development corporation, got non-profit status, gained momentum in making a difference with people from the wider community, but not a lot of folks from within the neighborhood chose to be involved. We’ve spent most of our free time on the effort for the past 5 years, including establishing neighborhood gardens, mobilizing partners to help make a few murals in the area, got a couple of grants to help with costs, starting a Tool Lending Library, renovating blighted homes to make them available to low income families, and organizing a number of cleanup efforts. Still, it was mostly people from outside the neighborhood who helped. Our goal has always been to help people living there to realize the gifts God gave them and facilitate them working together to create the neighborhood we believe is possible. I even agreed to be on the neighborhood association board recently.
We began this effort in 2007, and in earnest in 2008.
Fast forward to 2013. Graffiti is rampant. Neighbors have gotten concerned, word spread, and about 30 people showed up at the neighborhood meeting late January 2013 to have a conversation with the police officers who were guest speakers. That’s about 3x as many as usually show up at these meetings. I facilitated the meeting. At the end of the meeting, I asked “so what do you all want to do about the graffiti issue?” The reply blew me away – “we want to get rid of it.” “When?” I asked. “This Saturday,” was their reply.
So with only 4 days notice (meeting on Tues, graffiti task force on Sat) there were 15 people who gathered to get rid of graffiti and many more who said they would join in next time with more notice. One person mapped the whole neighborhood locating where the worst of it was, another contacted the city to obtain some supplies to remove the graffiti, and another brought his pressure washer. We set out and in 2.5 hours, removed the worst graffiti in eight locations. Not only have that, but we now have a plan to meet one Saturday monthly to address the rest of it.
Tears came to my eyes when I observed the numbers of people who have now join with us to transform this into a place where we are proud to live. For so long it felt like we were the only ones that live here who cared. But now, we realize there are more, we are working together, and word is spreading. PTL for helping us be persistent, for bringing others into the picture, and for giving us all the desire to make such a difference. If we had allowed ourselves to be stopped because of discouragement, this would not have happened.
Keep dreaming, keep up the effort, and even if it’s only for one person you are making a difference, it’s worth it!!
Thank you for that inspirational story Patti! And thank you for the encouragement too. I am so happy to hear your efforts are starting to spread through the community you live in! Feel free to share your story here anytime—I know that I, and I am sure many others, love to hear it! God Bless!