I recall part of a sermon I heard recently where the pastor reaffirmed to the congregation some of the reasoning behind the action of attending church. One of the reasons that stood out to me was the notion that there may not be another place that can pull you away from your selfishness. There may not be another place that pushes the message of being selfless and shows you how to be giving.
Now, I am not assuming that my readers are Christian. However, his sermon brought my attention what it takes and what it means to be giving. There is so much that we encounter on our day-to-day that tells us to be selfish. I know, I know…we all are working on that work-life balance and I am surely one of them (raises hand and waves hand frantically). Seriously though, I don’t want to confuse needing personal time with being selfish. I often just think, “How can I do more and not add so much more to my already piled plate?”
Well, I can only sit here and tell you all about my experience and my story. I’ve always found myself interested in the social issues that surround my own community. When I say that, I’m thinking of the communities I immediately identify with which are women, African Americans and of course I always have a vested interested in the community I reside in.
I was searching for an avenue where I could combine my passions and talents in one space. Once I decided I was going to change my focus, I thought long and hard about this new direction over the course of several months. At some point I stopped and just asked myself, “Hey Bird, what do you find fun?” I found myself leaning toward apparel and the idea that I could reach out to people with all kinds of empowering messages. I thought about how I wanted to not just impact my community, but also show an interest to people outside of the immediate communities I previously mentioned. I’d come up with the messaging, designs or give art direction if I’m utilizing another designer and donate part of the proceeds to organizations that are fighting the good fight. It’s still a business model in the making, but it’s a start and I’m not afraid to run the marathon. (I can hear my close friends chuckling because if I was to run a real marathon they’d have to carry me across the finish line)!
Really, take a break from the day-to-day and just for a moment step back and ask yourself, “How can I be more selfless?” Where can I interject giving into my daily scope in whatever that may look like for you. I just want to put the question out there on how we all can make giving be a seamless part of our lives no matter how we go about it. This avenue just happens to be what makes the most sense for me at this time in my life.
If you don’t know where to begin, some of you ladies might like to join a meet-up, try Zora’s Daughters. They’ve got pop-up co-working at their meet-up. Sitting with another like-minded individual might help you produce that amazing idea that’s been tucked away in the deep dark corner of your brain. Then after those amazing ideas immerse, someone can actually be there to encourage you to execute! Everyone needs a push!
As you’re reading through this, you might be thinking about the type of social justice you’d like to engage in. Honestly, there is so much out there: civil rights, immigration rights, criminal justice, community-based organizations, disability rights, elderly and children advocacy, women liberation, LGBT rights, the list goes on.
For January, I’d like to focus in on the fact that it is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. (My bad, I just turned up reality!) Some of us in Ohio may not realize that the northwest corner of our state is known for having a heavy trafficking flow. Ohio ranks number 5 in the country in human trafficking with Toledo ranking number 4 under cities with a high population of children being involved. For more details, I urge you to visit the Ohio State Bar Association which is a great local resource that has a thorough article written on the topic.
Now that you’ve gotten a snippet of reality this might entice you to be more active. There are so many people that can use your help. We all can use that one skill that works best for us to make our community a safer and more socially conscious place to live.
To begin your exploration, start by learning more about the organizations that support women, men and children who have been involved in human trafficking:
Stay woke my friends,
Halle “Bird” Malcomb
To learn more about Halle, check out her bio.
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