Friday, February 22, 2008

Fix-It Friday

It is Fix-it Friday again. My two constant buddies in this journey are here again! Thank goodness for them.
****Edited to Add*****
I feel like such a heel! Please forgive me Gawdess! Go check out Gawdess's Viewfinder awesome talents!! Her pictures will not just amaze you, but inspire you too! Thanks Gawdess!
Katie from the view from the hill has the CUTEST little scotty dog ever, along with a picture of the very cute but faceless Little Man! The pattern is FREE. My very favorite word.
Thanks Katie!
Incredibly enough, Eliza's mom not only survived the Puke Fest of '08 to post a Fix-it Friday post, but she is also having a CONTEST! So go on over, show our Fix-it Friday posters some love, and maybe win something too!

Fix-it Friday

One day a man was walking along the seashore. He noticed that during the night many seashells and starfish had washed upon the beach. Thoroughly enjoying the morning sun and cool sea air, the man walked for miles.

As he strolled along, he noticed a small figure dancing in the distance. It made him chuckle to think of someone celebrating life in such an uninhibited way. As he drew closer, however, it became apparent that the figure was not dancing. Instead, she seemed to be repeatedly performing some ritual.

He drew nearer still and noticed that the small figure was a child. She was methodically picking up starfish and tossing them into the surf. He paused for a moment, puzzled, then asked, "Why are you throwing these starfish?"

"It's high tide," she replied, "If I leave them on the beach, the sun will soon dry them and they will die. I am throwing them into the ocean so they can live." The man considered her actions, impressed with the child's thoughtfulness. Then he motioned up and down the miles of the beach. "There must be thousands of starfish along here," he said, "you cannot possibly make a difference."

The young girl stopped. Her face darkened. She chewed thoughtfully on her lower lip, "You're probably right," she said softly. She looked down at the sand. Then she leaned over, carefully picked up another starfish, pulled back and arched it gently into the sea.

With a tone of gentle defiance, she said, "But I made a difference for that one."

I don't know about the rest of you, I feel the guilt of being blessed in mind, body, spirit and of having my needs met on a daily basis. There are so many others in the world who have so little and while I wish there was more I could do to help others, I face the reality of being time pressed and also being short on the cash end. Something I know, in the deepest center of my being, is that each and everyone of us has a place in this world and that each of us will feel impressed by whatever you wish to call it, karma, spirit or just being human to do something to change our little corner of the world. I have long understood that I can not change everything, but I have also learned I can harness my passion and my love to make a difference, if not not for every starfish, than for the one starfish that is in front of me.
My Fix-it Friday post is about Fixing the World. I want to encourage you to find a place where you can put whatever you have available, time, money, passion to changing something. And the best part? I am going to give you some concrete ways to participate in either your local or global community. And, at the end a promise for you.
As most of you know, something that matters to me is my local politics. I had a chance to go to the capital last week and lobby for a couple of things that are meaningful to me. One of them is the second parent adoption bill here in Utah. Another one is health care for the disabled and other marginalized populations. It really isn't hard. 1. Find out what the issue is. Educate yourself. See if there are any groups you can ally yourself with. Make a short hand out or write a letter to give to your legislators.
2. Find out who your legislators are. (Call your election office, in the county govt pages in your phone book, give them your address and they will tell you if you don't know)
3. Go to the capital when the legislature is in session. Here in Utah, you fill a little paper out with your information and the name of the representative or senator. Make sure you put down you are one of their local constituents. When they come out the door, talk to them. Smile, ask questions, be nice, be passionate. You will be amazed how much they care. Thank them
4. Make sure you follow up later.
Here are a couple of really good websites with lobbying basics:
brief basics
comprehensive guide to lobbying
And you might say, realistically, you don't have that many hours to devote to a cause right now. I hear you, this week I didn't have the time either!
So I have some places where you can get involved with as much time as you can, either minutes or hours and to make it even easier, you can even do it from the very chair you are sitting in!
Here is one of my favorites! Do you love to read? Do you like audio books? Does the word FREE make your heart go pitty pat? Check it out! An opportunity for you to be a voice for others. LibriVox You can go read a chapter or a entire book. The books are provided for free to everyone.
There are even ways to volunteer than involve almost no time from you, just time from your computer on the internet! You could be helping without even leaving your bed. How easy is that?
One way is by joining with Stanford University Fold@home by linking millions of computers together, they are creating a supercomputer to understand how proteins fold. By joining in, you could be part of a cure for Alzheimer’s.
You can help end the AIDS epidemic. Fightaids@home help by identifying which drug molecules could best fight HIV.

Here is a list of 14 different ways to join your computer to others to help in different ways. From the medical to the otherworldly.
Ways to harness your computer

And in closing, if there isn't anything here that makes you think, I need to do that! Then check out this website, I bet you can find something that will harness your heart and mind.
Network for Good

Here is my promise to you. If you can't find anything in this post that speaks to you, feel free to email me and I promise I will help you search your heart and help you find your starfish.

3 Kids Who Want To Play:

elizasmom said...

Jo, what a great post. I have heard about these computer-sharing things on NPR and wondered how you got hooked into them. I think I will sign up.

I also, I don't have time to post a bazillion links, but there are a lot of organizations out there (Amnesty International is one, I know) and such who have sections of their sites that make it super easy to participate in email campaigns on behalf of important causes. They give you text you can edit or not as you wish, you sign your name, and off you go.

Katie said...

I'm going to keep trying to make my difference through my youth work. It might be too late to change the mind of some of our leaders, however by encouraging the young people of today to grow up o be open minded and good citizens I might be making good future leaders. We had nearly 100 girls turn up to my event last night and raised nearly £150 to help guides and girl scouts in other countries.
Remember youth groups always need volunteers, and it is so, so rewarding.

Val said...

[had lost the link to your blog]
If you read my latest post, you can kinda figure out where my starfish are... Great post BTW!