We are all guilty of complaining about the weather…….Or to say it plainly, we are all guilty of complaining about a problem we see. Are you also the first to be a part of the solution? Earlier this week I read a comment on a Facebook post about a problem in my community. After reading the comment I thought, instead of complaining about the problem, be a part of the solution. What keeps us from making the first move towards change? Fear? Pride? Lack of knowledge? Whatever it is we have to consciously make a choice to stop complaining about the weather and bring an umbrella to the thunderstorm!
As educators we should jump at the chance to model civic engagement for our students. Take the opportunity to engage your students and facilitate a discussion about their role in the community. Create a learning environment that invites conversation about local and global causes. Here are a few conversation starters I use with my high school service-learning ambassadors at the beginning of each school year as I engage students that are new to service, volunteerism, and social change.
What do you see in your community that you would like to change? What would you like to keep? Take a moment to brainstorm about what is happening around you every day. Make a list, draw a map, or even take a picture. Create solutions to the problems. Do you see littering? Organize a clean-up day for you and your neighbors. Do you want to join the fight against hunger/homelessness? Assemble a lunch and toiletry kit and give it to someone you see asking for help as you drive to work. Chronic Disease? Join a 5K Run/Walk to raise money for HIV AIDS or Cancer. Don’t just talk about, be about it!