Who says you need to travel thousands of miles to make a difference? As mothers, right here right now is the best place to start.
1. Find Your Passion
Passionate people are driven to make their mark in this world. Find what is absolutely, certainly, righteously true for you and live it out like there is no tomorrow. What angers you about this world? What kind of wrong do you want to make right? What are you called to be and do? The best possible way you can serve the world is to own this passion without apology and offer it with abandon.
2. Slow Down
The world benefits greatly when we live light, and slowing down is a sure way to do that. On an individual level, slowing down helps us live more mindfully (see #4) and we are able to consciously make better decisions for ourselves and consequently for the world. It also helps us make more space for the kind of stuff in our lives that reduce our harmful impact on the environment while significantly increasing meaningful connections that give us Life.
3. Live simply.
Owning less stuff is not only a means to declutter our house, but it frees up our financial resources to give more (#6). Not only that but we also contribute to the revolution of the empty, which is the absolute way to turn this world around. Start with eliminating the unnecessary and focusing on the essential.
4. Eat mindfully.
Recently, I wrote about how fighting for real food is fighting for freedom. And when we slow down to eat mindfully, we are able to make choices that benefit the next generation. Not to mention identifying with the other side of the world that struggles not with obesity but with empty stomachs and parched throats. Good eating starts in the mind. Think before you eat.
5. Spend wisely.
If we see our spending money in terms of power (as in who does our money empower), would we be more mindful of the
crap stuff we buy? Frugal is not necessarily cheap, so I say. Get out of debt, quit spending money you don’t have, be honest with your financial situation and live within your means. Or even better, live below your means so you can give more and buy fair trade.
6. Give generously.
I have nothing against sponsoring a child, but what about sponsoring an entire village? We like to have to faces to our causes, but thinking of transformation in terms of whole families and communities is a truly much more nourishing way to give. Invest your money in organizations that empower especially women, who are the shapers and nurturers of future change-makers (see #10). Give more hand-ups (like a Kiva loan or VIttana) than hand outs as much as possible. And above all, just give.
7. Practice radical hospitality.
We have many opportunities to practice hospitality beyond tea parties and formal dinner gatherings. In fact, raising children is a radical act of hospitality. As well as opening our homes to the aliens and strangers in our land. Consider communal living with other families or take in single folks. Host international students. Whatever is right for you. The question is, do you open your home to people who won’t be able to extend an invitation back? That’s tough.
8. Share your gifts.
What are you fantastically good at? What are your greatest strengths? Offer it to the world. Are you good with numbers? Maybe your local food bank could use a hand with paperwork stuff. Are you the mentor type? Maybe some local kids could use some help with tutoring and mentoring all the same. Or go global. An old co-worker of mine volunteered her accounting services for free to a couple in Thailand running a community health program. Someone from my old church used to give free haircuts to the folks at a local mission. The possibilities are endless, if we only are willing.
9. Advocate for change.
Words are powerful. Send a letter to those in positions of powers, whether in government or big corporations. We can leverage our citizen and consumer status by advocating for change in government policies or corporate practices. I subscribe to Sojourner’s Action Alerts among others. There, I can join the campaign for a Comprehensive Immigration Reform, ask the President to consider a new approach in Afghanistan or urge Kroger to fair pay price to Tomato workers.
10. Raise a revolutionary.
Lastly, but certainly not the least, embrace with white hot fervor this most important life-transforming role of your life: motherhood. We’re not playing house here and blowing happy bubbles on our nicely manicured white picket fenced lawn anymore. No desperate housewives here. Just ordinary moms who are ravenous for a change in the world, so we start with ourselves and with how we do laundry in the house. We’re washing our cloth diapers to dry on the clothesline, raising vegetables, creating and modelling a life that is nourishing not just to ourselves and our little wee ones, but eventually the world. So go ahead, raise the next Gandhi. Mothering for world peace IS your job title.
Thoughts? Stuff to add? By the way, this post is first addressed to me. This is the way I want and strive to live, but do I fall short! And so I keep writing and reminding because I forget. Oh, if you liked this post, kindly spread it around. Feel free to repost, but please give credit where its due and link back! Have a restful nourishing weekend!