In this blog, PI/PMI founder Victor Sinclair follows up on his article on the U.S. election and the milestone or perhaps more aptly put, the watershed event of Obama as both an instrument of change and hope.
Is the honeymoon over? Or perhaps some people just weren’t committed to the relationship. It’s been a couple of weeks since this historic event in both US and World history has taken place and the US recovery seems further away than every before and there are many people who have already changed the placard from hope to doom.
With hundreds of thousands of jobs gone, some countries are better off than the US and some are not, but we all face the same question.
How are we responding? You can’t have helped but notice the headlines everywhere in recent days of world-wide layoffs in some of the largest companies in the world including Caterpillar, Home Depot, Citi Group, Bombardier and the list just keeps on growing.
Headlines are abound with the relentless fallout. CNN’s headline: ‘Tough Choice For America’s Hungry’ and all you have to do is buy a newspaper or turn on the 6 o’clock news to hear about wildfires in Australia and 200,000 people trapped in Sri Lanka. There’s nothing new in these headlines and they can just as easily overwhelm me as I’m sure they do you.
On the other hand, there is lots of good news to focus on too. I would like to give some kudos to George Stromboulopoulos host of the CBC program The Hour for his part in the movement of One Million Acts of Green, which is currently sits at
However on the day of and days following the US election a lot of people talked a lot of talk about being the change, and I believe like the proverbial New Years resolution, not many of them got past embracing the idea and even fewer might have embraced an activity for a day or two but soon resorted to old Neutral habits as these negative headlines quickly overwhelmed them and the stark reality of giving a homeless person a coffee or a bagel soon wore out as the next dozen hats and stares faced them.
You see, we must accept the fact that we want to avoid pain and suffering at all cost and that most of us have to do so for our own survival or sanity or so we think. The notion is an illusion mired in a truth, but not necessarily “the truth”.
We then need to embrace the fact that if we are going to get out of our comfort zone we must then take a step into discomfort, try it on like a piece of clothing. So the next time you see someone on a freezing morning with a hat or coffee cup outside a donut shop, think about actually buying them a coffee or hot chocolate. Then we need to take another look at ourselves in the mirror, know that we did survive, that we did not fix the world, that poverty has not ended but rather that for one brief moment we have made one person’s burden a little less heavy and that is all we did.
Do it in baby steps. I did. I use to never talk to homeless or make eye contact… and for me to respond it was simpler to just bring them a coffee on the way out…. it’s easier that way, because you don’t have to confront a human being and their circumstances. But what if they don’t like coffee? Isn’t it more understanding to ask them and switch the order to something they actually like? We’ll long story short I eventually worked my way up to giving them a meal, no big deal, but in the truest sense of the spirit of giving, I couldn’t have been happy not doing that. And no you don’t have to do it all the time or every day, you can start with baby steps and do it once and then live with that. On a budget? When I used to work in downtown Toronto and face this plight every day. I used to fill my brief case with fruit. 3 or 4 apples and a couple of bananas. Then for the same amount of money, you can touch 5 or six people. (A tip by the way), I learned a long time ago as a rule of thumb, you never give money as many homeless people may be in substance abuse and this will only aid their problem.
A relentless message of the Positive Imperative is “Action Speaks Louder Than Words”.
Give some thought as to how you are going to be a part of the solution. Take some time this week and donate blood, or some food to the food bank. Join a green group; either the one that George has created David Suzuki’s or one more suitable for you. IE: Face book has an I Am Green Group too, to share everyday green ideas. You don’t have to save the world, just start by flicking a switch!
I’ll leave you with the lyrics of Susie McNeil’s Believe.
No one says it’s easy
And no one says you have to be perfect
But as long as you try
You’re always gonna find
It was worth it
Every positive action and simple act of kindness is worth it!
Victor Sinclair.Author of the forthcoming books; the Positive Imperative and the Positive Music Imperative, has a wide background in teaching, broadcasting, the music industry and business and most recently served as a founder and Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada (AmCham Canada).He has also dedicated more than 30 years of his life to volunteerism and not for profits including Big Brothers, Memorial Boys and Girls Clubs, Minor Leagues Sports and as a President and board member of several not-for-profit boards.Interests include family, biking, tennis, reading, music and PI/PMI of course.