This month, I am considering the kind promise “I will advocate courageously.”

This promise is an invitation to lift my gaze from my own situation, look at the needs of the world around me, and pitch in to help where I can.

I listened this week to a talk from my teacher, Susan Piver, about despair. She reminded us that, in the Tibetan Buddhist view, disheartenment is considered a form of laziness. This is not the lethargy of not wanting to do anything. It’s sloppiness in how we think.

We are forgetting that everything changes in ways that we can’t predict. I might think, “my effort is too little to make a difference,” but I can’t KNOW that. Thinking that way will rob me of energy and deprive others of the good I might have done.

How can I gather the energy to take action in a world that sorely needs TLC?

  • Look for the helpers. There are already people making a difference. They are working to solve any problem I care about. I can join them.
  • Look at what’s been accomplished. If I look for stories of improvement, I can find them. There are encouraging “case studies” in every area.
  • Do what brings me energy. Creative journaling groups have convinced me that while some activities decrease energy, others increase it. When I am aware of my energy levels, I can do what’s needed.

The world needs our caring action. When we are tired and discard, we can change our views, be inspired by those already taking action, gather our resources and move forward to make a difference.

In your journal:

  • make lists: what activities, places, people etc. bring you energy? What costs you?
  • What situations are calling for your attention? What do you care most deeply about?
  • What are your thoughts when you lose heart? Are they true? Are you absolutely sure? Who would you be without those thoughts?