Everyday Practices for Young People
Who Want to Help Save the World
© 2007 Amy Wachspress (visit www.wozabooks.com)
1. Pursue your passion.
This is the most important thing a young person can do each day to make the world a better place. When you do what you love, then you send your love out into the world. Discover your personal gifts and talents and pursue them with passion. Grow yourself. Find good teachers.
2. Take care of yourself.
Exercise, eat nutritional food, get enough sleep, and stay healthy. Slow down. Laugh. If you are often depressed, in pain, constantly tired, or don’t feel well, talk to a trusted adult and get professional help. If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, take a step toward recovering your life. You are not alone.
3. Practice and teach peace and nonviolence.
Use your imagination and develop your creativity. The opposite of violence is imagination. Violence occurs when people are unable to imagine another way to resolve a situation or conflict. Imagination is powerful. Imagination can cause change. Imagination is a muscle and it needs exercise. Spend time every day in creative activity. Study the science of nonviolence. Actively practice and teach peace.
4. Feed your spirit.
Participate in a faith community. If you don’t belong to a faith community already then consider joining one or starting a spiritual group with like-minded friends. Make room in your life to do those things that inspire and energize you. Make time to spend with the people you love.
5. Listen and learn from others.
Listen to other people with focused attention and an open heart. When speaking with someone who is very different from you, take the opportunity to expand your understanding of the world. Hearing someone does not necessarily mean you agree with them. Try a new perspective.
6. Think for yourself and take control of incoming information.
Question the facts. Research where news and information comes from and get your news from reliable sources. Think for yourself. Limit your exposure to negative news and violent images from TV, movies, and electronic games. Although it is important to educate yourself about what is happening in the world, it is equally important for you to remove yourself from the bombardment of violence presented in the media. Violence is not the only news happening. And resist advertising. Who is the boss of you? Alright then, think for yourself. Turn off your TV. Have a real experience instead of a virtual one. Get a life!
7. Promote positive energy.
Life is hard. We need to be kind to one another. Respect others. Treat other people the way you want them to treat you. If you witness an act of disrespect, speak up. Interrupt acts of humiliation and discrimination. Interrupt bullying. Interrupt racism. But remember to interrupt respectfully. Accept apologies graciously and find it in your heart to forgive those who don’t apologize. Be compassionate. You don’t know what someone else has been through. Use your anger or frustration to motivate you to do something positive. Transform negative energy into positive energy. Be grateful. Count your blessings every night. Put more positive energy into the world’s energy field in every way you can. All energy goes somewhere. It doesn’t just disappear. You may never see the difference it makes, but it will make a difference. We want to live in a soup of good energy. Put wonderful ingredients into that soup.