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What #BeTheChange Really Means

17 Jul
What #BeTheChange Really Means

During the past year-heck, longer than that-before my mother died, I have felt like I have been standing in quicksand, eager to free myself, to break free, but unable to do so. I bet many of you feel the same way.

There is too much . . . just too much going on in our lives, and in this world, for us to process.

Too much hatred

Too much anger

Too much bitterness

Too much fear

Too much work

Too much strife

Too much debt

Too much killing.

And there is too little:

Time

Money

Love

Hugs

Appreciation

Joy

And hope.

Many readers know that I do not have television. I am happy about this, ecstatic actually. Yes I am on Facebook, too much, but I do not watch videos of beatings, killings, or terrorists slaughtering innocents.  We are commanded to guard our heart, and violent images deposited into my heart quickly harms my soul. Be careful little eyes what you see, because once seen we cannot un-see.

Friends, I do not have the answer to why this is happening, but I do know this. . .  Jesus is coming, and soon. I am helpless to change any of the violence and I know myself well enough to realize that if I had television I would plug in and watch, helpless, and pretty soon negativity, bitterness and hopelessness would creep into my soul.

This I will not allow.

I do not watch, nor do I share images or video links of violence on Facebook, nor do I tweet popular hashtags (although I will use them in this blog post for emphasis).

bethechange

Social media is not activism.

Unless you are posting live as you march through the streets of Atlanta for change, social media is the safe (and lazy) way most folk use to puke their opinion, then sit back and feel better while friends comment, or agree by pressing the word LIKE.

Wow.

Really?

We have become a lackadaisical – yet fearful- group of souls, and once afraid we withdraw when what we really should do is release our fear and go forth bravely.

Yes. Bravely. Unplug and do something.

But I changed my Facebook photo to the color of the French flag, you say.

Whoop-tee-doo.

Not to be harsh but no one cares.

#BeTheChange

Be The Change means do something.

Literally.

Physically.

Actively.

Do.

Something. . .  anything other than Like another post.

No, I don’t expect you to stop terrorists, but I do expect you to stop posting on Facebook all day. I do expect you to get up out of your chair and give.

#GiveLove

Use words if necessary.

#GiveHope

Use money if necessary.

Hundreds of small businesses are struggling. Support them. #BuyLocal shouldn’t be just another hashtag slogan. Buy Local falls into the Love Thy Neighbor category. Don’t feel sorry when a small business in your community closes if you have done nothing to help them keep the doors open!

This includes authors and artists who are barely getting by.

#BeTheTruth

Recently I saw an author’s selfie. She was standing in a room of empty chairs. No one had attended her reading (this happens often, has happened to me).

She could have lied. She could have said, “Great event today.”

But she was honest.

She was real. She posted a photo of the empty room and said, “No one came.”

She displayed her fear to us and in doing so she claimed dominion over it. Afterward many commented they had purchased her books. Buy the book of a #lesserknownartist, read it, and then give it away.

#BeTheChange

Children are hungry. Summer is a time when many children do not receive adequate nourishment. Find a church making lunches during Bible school activities. Buy a loaf of bread, or better yet, volunteer to pack lunches. School supplies are also needed. Seek out the poorest school near you and buy supplies.

#BeTheHope

Our elderly are in crisis. If you are concerned about the future, imagine how the elderly feel. They are scared . . . petrified.

Open your eyes.

See them.

Befriend them.

Love them.

Let them teach you how to love (they are experts).

Go to any Kroger or other grocery store on Wednesday, which is usually senior citizen’s day. Watch. Look. Help. The need is great and you, yes you, are powerful.

You ARE The Hope someone has been praying for. Don’t you realize that?

#BeAnAngel

Buy gift cards.

Keep them in your wallet.

Give them away.

Randomly.

To the cashier.

To the waitress.

To anyone you meet over the age of 60.

This is what it means to BeTheChange. You may think a ten dollar gift card won’t make a difference, but I promise you it will.

#BeAnExample

Take your children. Make this an adventure. Make it a game. “Let’s see who we can help today.”

You can do this. I believe in you.

I believe in us.

Let’s teach our children to be givers.

#BeAnomyous

Let’s face it, you know someone who is struggling . . . we all do.

Someone facing job loss.

Cancer.

Someone with a broken family.

You know where they live. Yes, you.

Step outside of your personal circumstance. Send them a card for Pete’s sake. Include a gift card. Order a pizza delivered to their house (how easy is that?). Send flowers. Hide surprises in their mailbox. Cut their grass while they are at work or at the doctor then slip on back home and act surprised when they tell you about it.

#BeTheLight

This week I send you out on a mission. For this mission you need two things: Twenty Dollars and courage. That is my challenge. Take twenty dollars and give it away. Of course you can split it into two tens and double the blessings, of course you can give more if your budget allows. Today, after reading this blog, unplug from the fear and hatemongers and the incessant negative noise. Go forth and be a blessing. Then later, mosey on back and share your story. Inspire others. You have shared the bad news in the world on Facebook and Twitter, go now share something good. Share this post. Share your story. I have a sneaking suspicion that during the process of being a blessing it is you who will also be blessed.

Let us boldly fight fear with love. Because as the hashtag says, #LoveWins. Love always wins.

Renea Winchester is an award-winning author of three non-fiction books and a collection of short stories. You can order, or download her work here.

 

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4 Comments

Posted by on July 17, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

4 responses to “What #BeTheChange Really Means

  1. NebraskaDave

    July 18, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Renea, I have to agree that the focus of our culture in general has taken a turn for the worse. God has gifted me with the ability to help others around me and almost daily He puts those gifts to work. It may be just a ride to the doctor or taking a grocery list to the store and buying groceries but to those that can’t do simple things in life, it’s a big help. I don’t even have to leave my urban street to find ways to help those in need. The needs are many and the workers are few. It’s very sad to see God being removed from this country’s lifestyle.

    I have television but don’t watch news or the reality shows. I have enough reality in my life without watching some one else s troubles. I keep informed about world events by talking with other people. Yeah, I know “What a novel idea.” It gives me enough information to stay informed but not be over whelmed by the images and news media dribble.

    Have a great day in the Lord. Trust in the Lord and not on our own understanding. 🙂

     
  2. Amber Nagle

    July 18, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    One of your best, Renea. Thank you for being the change! By the way, I’ve always loved the quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I think Ghandi said it. No quote could be more pure—more true. I believe that God lives in all of us, and we are supposed to reflect that greater goodness and love.

    Keep rolling out these great posts. We need your bright light in the world of darkness.

    ~Amber

     
  3. Gail Gilvin

    July 19, 2016 at 2:20 am

    Renea, I accept your mission to #BeTheChange! I do believe your challenge is the door which has opened for me following the one which closed for me earlier this month when I decided age 80 was an excellent time to give up active employment. Since reading your blog, I’ve spent considerable time learning about the #BeTheChange movement across the country and its opportunities to Be The Change. Following your suggestions and theirs, today was Day 1 of my active effort to make a difference, and I’m excited about it. I not only performed an act of kindness for my absent neighbor (I picked up the litter the trash collectors left in his yard and returned the bin to his garage), I performed an Act of Change to benefit myself (I walked 1/2 mile for the first time in years).

    Instead of passively continuing to Like and Share posts on Facebook referencing the recent tragic events in Baton Rouge, today I actively contributed to the GoFundMe accounts set up to assist the families of Officers Jackson, Garafola and Gerald. Since I sent your suggested $20 to each fund and then found the courage to tell my story to you, hopefully I fulfilled this week’s mission. I’m also working on a post to share on my Facebook Timeline this week regarding your blog and #BeTheChange, beginning with Day 1.

    Your “What #BeTheChange Really Means” blog is a perfect example of what “#BeTheChange” really means. Thank you for it.

     
    • Renea

      July 20, 2016 at 1:49 am

      Gail, You are Awesome. You have made a difference. You inspired me to get myself off the couch and go for a short walk.

       

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