American citizens talk about the day after 9/11 almost as much as they talk about the tragedy itself. Why is that? What makes the day after such a big deal?
The day after 9/11 might have been written into history as the most unified moment the US has ever seen. Songs, poems, literature and FaceBook posts tell us that everyone came together on that day. Actions were taken. Changes were implemented in record speeds at airports.
Of course, that narrative leaves out how our Muslim brothers and sisters were faring at this time..
20 years later, here we are again at the day after. Will we do better this time? Will we come together to condemn the violent actors? Will we take action? Make change? And this time, can we create change to be antiracist, anti-islamophobic, antibiased while we are at it?
It can feel overwhelming to think about changing the world, but I absolutely believe that if we understood the depth of our own capabilities, we would be shook to the core. Like they say, even little actions can have great consequences. So that is what I am here to brainstorm with you today. What can we do today that WILL have an effect on improving the world.
Serve / Volunteer
Find out what areas in your city need help. Is there a homeless shelter, a food storage facility, Red Cross, or Salvation Army that is in need of hands?
A great source for finding out where your family can safely serve is JustServe.org with lists of all kinds of needs in your community, including a specific section of COVID-safe service opportunities.
Learn / Educate
Know the facts!! So much of the chaos we have seen in our country is based on misinformation (which definition is absurd to me that people would intentionally spread false information. Yes, people do this for fun. Don’t trust everything on the internet!) fearmongering, and a lack of education among the population about how to navigate finding creditable sources. Educators have an especially difficult responsibility to teach students how to do this and point them to good sources.
When reading about current events, always check multiple sources, different view points, make sure the source is reliable, and then fact check it at a site like Snopes.com
Whether you paint posters, bake, build something, plant something, race your car for a cause, sell artwork or clothing with good messages, or write out your thoughts in a book, there is a talent YOU have that can be used to make this world a better place. Be creative about sharing what you stand for!
Share the Good
Use that social media account for GOOD! Condemn the hate and then encourage love and change. Choose your words carefully. Don’t respond right away. If you feel angry about something, type your answer five times before you allow yourself to hit “SEND”.
Meditate / Pray
Finally, find some time to clear your mind every day. Focus on bringing your energy back to a positive place so you can give positive energy back to those around you.
This yoga game is being sold individually starting today in hopes of encouraging us all to take a moment and say out loud, “I BRAVE I AM THOUGHTFUL I AM POWERFUL” before we go off and change this big, old, messy world.
Little yogis will spin for each turn and hold the pose or say the phrase chosen until their next turn. As players finish the game, they will give support to other players still on the map.
These are the steps I’ll be focusing on this week to help make sure that in all the chaos, I am able to see right from wrong and stand up for what I believe in. What will you do to make the world a better place? I would love to hear from you on the Instagram post listed above, where your ideas might just help me inspire others to act.