There are many issues in our communities which affect us greatly, whether we acknowledge them or not. It is so easy to place great importance and stress upon our daily issues that we become disconnected from our communities. Our issues, while still important, contribute to a multitude of problems which we find in our villages, towns and cities. If one citizen finds themselves facing financial problems, while another is facing grievance, and another may be struggling in the workplace, individuals in the community may begin to disconnect from those around them, potentially causing existing problems to escalate. Without taking seriousness from those issues we find ourselves up against, it is important to help address societal problems and become part of the solution. As we do, we find that our own difficulties become more manageable.
Having grown up in Scotland and traveling around Britain and some places in Europe, I have become more aware of litter and the consequences of littering. I remember walking home from school and watching schoolkids carelessly throwing rubbish on the ground as they pass by a bin. Oftentimes, I found myself cleaning up after them, receiving disapproving looks as I did so. It is difficult to express the importance of teaching those around you to take responsibility for their actions, and to simply discard of trash respectfully. Trash is unsightly and can harm local wildlife. Fortunately, people of the internet have also realised the salience of caring for the planet and their communities; As social media platforms become inundated with challenges, some of which are extremely harmful and dangerous to their participants, there is one which deserves merit. The ‘trashtag’ challenge has received quite a large following with people from all over the world taking part. Instead of snorting condoms and eating Tide pods, the challenge suggests people snap a photo before cleaning up large areas, and after their clean up, stating how long the challenge had taken them. This is a great example of the powers of social media and the inspiration it can generate to achieve something positive in your community! As we help clean up the areas around us, we can feel more at peace and we may then extend the challenge to our personal lives. If we clear out toxicity and stresses from our lives, we can begin to feel less cluttered and more relaxed.
The society in which we live greatly promotes entrepreneurship and entices more and more people to create their own businesses. However, many people find themselves discouraged, perhaps, by competition, or a lack of belief in oneself. It remains easier, and sometimes less expensive, to shop at Walmart or other large corporations for the things we need. What we therefore miss out on, is the opportunity to find something brilliant, or beautiful, or delicious offered by small businesses. In example, Erika Grow from Grow Love Designs (Utah) has recently had her first baby, and so creates stunning handmade jewelry at home. Brandon and Morgan Gray from Gray’s Sugar Rush (Scotland) create confectionery cones which are tailored to different occasions and holidays. Valerie Hannan from Valerie Hannan Hypnotherapy has recently gotten her hypnotherapy license and offers therapy for a multitude of different ailments. There are many small businesses around you who offer high quality, and often handmade, products who are trying to support a family and help their business grow. Helping these establishments bring a world of good to the owners’ lives, and you receive great products and services in return. When businesses such as these expand, new jobs and opportunities are created for the community, which helps solve other issues such as unemployment, low job satisfaction or helps individuals gain career experience.
Lastly, there is no joy comparable to that which is brought about by kindness and acts of service. Whether you are the servant or the served, there is real happiness to be spurn by helping one another. Facebook and Instagram are swamped with videos of people giving flowers to passing mothers, of children giving hugs to police officers on duty and people offering necessities to the less fortunate. In each of these videos, the recipients are always full of joy, with their smile lasting throughout the video. It remains blatant that everyone everyday is fighting through one hardship or another, and one cannot begin to fathom the intensity of gratitude they may feel upon being served by another. If you cannot afford to pay for something you may be be able to give to someone else, simply letting them know that someone cares about them can have lasting impact. A friend of mine was the kindest and most loving boy I’d met. Before he passed away, he gave jackets from his own back to homeless after sitting with them, sharing a meal and conversation. He built houses for those who had none, he founded charities to provide books to schools in third world countries. We can find such people all around us, but it is far better to become those people and place ourselves in the lives of those who need us. Doing these things can knit us closer together. When we are close to each other and we become more active in helping eradicate very real societal issues, we become closer to solutions to our own problems and create meaningful friendships with people who care about us and genuinely wish to help us in our efforts for lasting happiness.