I woke up crying this morning—scenes from the movie my husband and I saw last night freshly playing like a slideshow in my mind.
“What are you we going to do about poverty?” I asked him. “What are we going to do?”
He sat down next to me on my side of the bed, already dressed and ready to walk out to his early morning breakfast with his weekly men’s support group.
“I don’t know, but we’ll find something to do.” he answered. “When we give to Full Moon Girls, this is helping, and when we give to our friends in Nigeria, this makes a difference too.” He reached for my hand as I continued to weep.
“But it’s not enough,” I cried. “It’s not enough.”
We’ve lived in Africa, so we are familiar with children living in poverty. The movie, “Lion,” that we saw last night, is set in India with more children and more poverty.
Right here in Houston there is also poverty. We own a rental property just a mile from our home and there are drugs, violence and despair in this neighborhood. One of our tenants moved recently because he wants to stay off of drugs, and even his parole officer encouraged him to break the lease if he had to in order to find a safer place to live. I don’t blame him. He left the house in immaculate order. I understand. People deserve to feel safe in their own homes, to have food to eat and to walk in their neighborhoods without fear of violence.
“Lion” is nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars, and is the kind of movie that inspires us to question what we can do to make a difference in the world.
There is so much upheaval right now in our political world. As a writer, I question daily what I could write that might be of benefit. How do I bridge the huge gap between so many people whom I love who voted for Donald Trump and so many other people I love who detest him?
Do I want to spend time trying to build bridges between extreme ideologies or, potentially, just extreme stubbornness, or do I want to put my energy someplace else—somewhere I think it might make more of a difference? What about all the poverty everywhere?
“The hardest thing in life is to learn which bridge to cross and which to burn.” ~ David Russell
Perhaps I can do both. We shall see. I am writing this article. Maybe it will make a difference to someone. This morning I told my husband that I am visiting the local police department and some churches in the neighborhood of our rental property. Maybe there are youth organizations, like Full Moon Girls in western Massachusetts where we donate money, or we could volunteer there, or even start a youth group if none exist.
Movies should inspire us to action and “Lion” has.
Here are four actions we can all take to be of service in the world and make a difference:
1. Let your heart expand with compassion, and open yourself to ways that you can make a difference in your world. At times it feels as though the pain and suffering of the world may be too much for us, but when we allow ourselves to know and feel what is happening in the world around us, our heart expands.
2. Pray and meditate daily, even if for only five minutes at a time. This is where our intuition will become tuned and inspired actions come to mind. Connection with a spiritual source will also provide internal comfort from the overwhelming sense of responsibility and need out in the world.
3. Take care of yourself—physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally and financially. Create security and build wealth. The more you have, the more you can give. When we are not encumbered with fear, worry, debt or resentment, we will be free to laugh, foster abundant living and share our resources with gratitude. We will be free to be of service.
4. Pay attention to what is happening in your own community. Where can you direct your energy to make a difference? Stay tuned in during your meditation time and throughout your day. Ideas, actions and steps you can take will come to you. Follow this guidance and take action. You will be guided every step of the way.
“Lion” was a heart-wrenching and heart-fulfilling movie.
I am inspired.
What about you? What matters to you? Where do you want to make a difference?
We are in this together.
Author: Sally Bartolameolli
Image: @ecofolks on Instagram
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren