Years ago, when I was taking a course in spiritual growth and development, we learned about a practice called “Focused caring.” It works like this:
What major issue(s) really tug at your heart? Is it world hunger? The environment? Workers’ rights? The list is long.
Once you have identified the concern that will get your attention, find one tangible thing you can do to express it.
For example, if your heart goes out to single mothers who are trying to raise their children, while working and doing everything else, you might donate snacks to your local after school program or volunteer two hours per week to help supervise.
Perhaps it’s women who are homeless or getting out of abusive relationships. Women’s shelters will be more than happy to receive donations from you. To make it a bit more personal, go shopping for the shelter, instead of simply writing a check.
I think the importance of focused caring has increased exponentially. There are many needs and they are great. Moreover, we are much more inclined to feel overwhelmed and powerless because tragic, difficult circumstances around the world are thrust into our faces every day. Having one or two things we can do will empower us.
There is one huge benefit of choosing a simple thing to do: If everyone did this, there would be major results! Imagine, for example, if one person in each neighborhood in America made it a point to say, “hello” to someone he or she sees each morning. Before long, the one who has been greeted would be more confident and willing to talk to another. The problem of isolation would be significantly impacted.
If each person in America recycled one bottle that he or she would have thrown away, how much would not end up in a landfill?
If 50% of the people in a town saved pennies to help buy groceries for ones who can’t afford them, how many vulnerable, possibly isolated seniors, children and adults in dire need would have enough to eat?
There is another incredibly positive effect of focused caring. It is the peace in the soul of the one who is doing it. When we help others, we are much healthier, body, mind, emotions and spirit. There are innumerable studies that have found that people who volunteer and share live longer with fewer and less severe illnesses.
What need or issue has your attention? Decide on one simple thing you can do; start today.
Next, watch for changes as more people join and we improve our nation, one good deed at a time.