How Our Dollars Shape Our Future

There have been times in my life that I feel like I’m keeping faith despite lacking strong evidence in order to keep hope. I couldn’t be more happy that #GivingTuesday has been created and is taking off. Every year I’m still in disbelief that people are getting trampled, stabbed, and shot over a new game console or toy. We now have 5 days dedicated to spending as much as we possibly can with disregard to human life and the “actual” meaning of the holidays. 

I don’t expect people to celebrate the holidays or hold the same beliefs as I do, but don’t we all know that killing someone over a shopping sale is a tad bit excessive? This display of selfishness is the epitome of why we’re all truly better off believing that the world doesn’t revolve around one person – me-me-me.

I performed a little experiment last week, mainly out of curiosity. During my eMarketing class, I’ve done research on different social media platforms and Facebook is consistently listed as a negative-sentiment-platform. So, last week I posted a couple positive, uplifting messages. Some were simply inspiring quotes or messages, and some were centered around GivingTuesday. Those got minimal interaction, shares, or likes. Then, I posted one negative post complaining about school and finals and whatever stress typically comes our way this time of year. That single post got 10x more interaction and likes.

I think you can already guess how I feel about that.

Here’s what I hope we can all take away from this, regardless if you believe you’re a angel-saint-full-time-volunteer or a self-absorbed-couch-potatoe. If we want change in our communities, our world — if we’re not happy with something — we don’t have a right anymore to sit back and whine about it. That means your pet-peeves are here because our society allowed it to be. Honey boo-boo is a creation of our belief-system. This narcissistic generation was created and nurtured. The baby-boomer generation panicking about social security and retirement is a product of our society.

The research I’ve done throughout my time in college has shown me that education is one of the biggest links between everything “bad” and everything “good” – including obesity, wealth, you name it.

Some people worry that with so much information available, how do you know the right sources to listen to? You start listening. Begin surrounding yourself with information and stop turning a cold-shoulder to information you’d rather pretend not to know about.  

Especially now, we are not helpless. Social media has helped countries start revolutions, protect innocent people, and stand up to bullies. I have to believe that humans steadily evolve into better, more humane generations that keep exploring and stay dedicated to creating better solutions. Moreover, we will continue that trend. We’re standing up for things we know are ethical and “right” – environmentally friendly policies, sustainability practices, equal rights, supporting charities and hospitals that help those who need it.

Martin Luther King Jr. started a world-changing movement with less than 18% of Americans’ support. Today, the majority of us support good causes like those above – anywhere from 60-85% (depending on the cause). MLK was one person. You are one person. All you need is action.

The paradox is that when you focus on giving to someone else, helping someone else without a ROI expected — you help yourself. Do you know what the the most-effective yet the least-used method to help depression is? Volunteering. Seriously – look it up. If you don’t believe me, shoot me a message and I’ll email you the scientific journals that back this up.

We are not helpless and the world is not going to “hell in a hand basket.” We vote for our future with our actions and our dollars. Think of it like positive-reinforcement for a puppy.

This holiday season, make your dollars mean more. Look for gifts that give gifts. Last Christmas my sister gave everyone pajama pants that were made by a girl in India that was rescued from sex slavery. By purchasing the pants, she supported entrepreneurial women that were struggling to make their world better – for themselves, for their families, and for their future generations. Honestly, the pants aren’t the cutest pj’s I’ve ever seen – but they mean the most to me and they’re the first I grab because I know what they stand for. Everyone in my family this year will be getting gifts from the Red Dirt Shop, because I know my dollars are helping people toward a better future.

Just a quick question – do you know where your dollars are going? All that money we spent for Black Friday – has that helped create clean water or support micro-economies in a worse-off country?

I’m so thankful for Giving Tuesday and those who are choosing to support it.
I hope you’ve had a fantastic holiday. For those of my peers in college – good luck preparing for Finals!!

Remember: Worry is the facade of taking action.  

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

— Winston Churchill

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”

— William Wilberforce

Thanks for reading,

Ashley

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One thought on “How Our Dollars Shape Our Future

  1. Just now reading! Great stuff… I chose to adopt seniors , late 70’s-80’s, who are striving to live independently and/ or assisted – who very well have no one at holidays…. Not sure if they can pay it forward but I find it sad how little we do as a healthy nation to assist our elderly …

    Like

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