A couple of days ago, I wrote a post concerning how easy it is to do nothing. This morning, I was reflecting on that same feeling again. Doing nothing is just easier.
For example, think of the amount of times we see the commercials on television about adopting a child. If you’re like me, that stirs you for a few minutes, but doing nothing is easier. Maybe I forget, maybe I’m not around a phone, maybe I’m not sure how to help. No matter. Doing nothing is easier.
And this isn’t to say we should give money to everything we see. That’s not what I’m getting at. Here’s my problem in a very unscientific mathematical formula.
Too many opportunities + Too busy = Easier to do nothing
Let me explain. Today, with information as prevelant as it is, we are innundated with opportunities to help the less fortunate. There are ads on tv, ads on the internet, ads in print, and my personal awkward favorite: the anxiety filled check-out/drive thru gotcha: “Would you like to give a dollar to ______?” Yes, I’d like my fries and a side of guilt for not donating (That’s how I feel at least. I wish they’d give you more of a heads up). Point being: there is no shortage of causes to get involved with and even if I didn’t like any of them, there are resources to start my own. It’s practically information overload.
The second part of the equation. I’m too busy. Life is busy. Students, workers, and stay-at-home moms are all busy. That’s just the nature of life. We find things to fill our time. And even when we aren’t busy, we’re busy.
Which leads us to our sum: Doing nothing is easier. We hear the pleas for help and they are drowned out by our activities. We see the starving children or the downtrodden village and we’re distracted by our interests. We feel a tug to help, but we’re snatched back into the everyday grind we call life. Eventually, we just give in. It’s easier to do nothing.
And that’s where I’m at. I’m finding it takes a concerted effort to do anything. So here’s a couple of tips:
- Research: If you want to give your money or time, take a half an hour to research out the organizations who will maximize your resources. Here’s a website that keeps non-profits accountable financially – Charity Navigator
- Volunteer: Don’t think you have to do something everyday. Start slow. Just start. Volunteering does wonders when it comes to opening up our hearts to people’s needs.
- Make it a lifestyle: Learn to incorporate Becoming Last into your lifestyle. Be creative. Brainstorm ways to do this. If you don’t sit down and brainstorm, you may never change. Trust me. I’ve thought about changing for a long time, but it took God and this blog to start motivating me toward active change. Here’s some thoughts to get started:
- Grocery Shopping: Decide to buy one extra can (or any item) each week. When you collect enough, take it to a food pantry.
- Eating Out: If you eat out a lot (yes, that’s me, I know…) pick one night and dedicate to eating in. Use half the money you would have spent and save it to donate. There are even organizations that you can donate funds specifically towards a blanket or chickens or anything. They itemize it to where you can spend $20 and buy such and such. That’s a very visual way of connecting your kids with giving.
- Random acts of kindness: Send someone a gift, help someone out, bring a worker some water. Pick anything and just ask that they pass the favor on. If they ask why, just tell them you’re trying to show God’s love in a practical way.
All this to say, don’t let donothingitis keep a hold of you. I’m sure there are some reading this that feel they do enough already. That may be true, but I know I could do more. I may seem busy, but it’s funny, the more I really begin to think about what I do/how I spend my time the more I realize how much I could use for others.
Where can you Become Last today?