June 28, 2019

BY: @kai_naturally 

We’re living in a time in history where we’re teetering on the edge… It’s no joke; the Climate Crisis is one particular issue that we should be very worried about. That being said, the general news of global inequality or the political circus seems to find it’s way into every family meal and has, without doubt, found a way to cloud our ability of being optimistic for a better future. Added to all of that, our disconnection from the real world has exacerbated this feeling of helplessness.  The majority of us wrongly believe that consuming ourselves online in some sort of Caps-locked Facebook rant while we diligently and digitally defend a cause we profess to be in love with may not be the right way we’re going about it. 

The reality is that” liking” or commenting on a cause on Facebook or an image on Instagram doesn’t do much in the real world. Social media has its place but it fools us into thinking that we’re actually making a significant impact in the real world nor do we as the “grammers” actually receive much long term rewards. All that is happening is that we’re becoming more detached from the real issues at hand while we become neurotic or depressed about how many Insta-followers we (don’t) have.  

ring back the trench work! Now, it may be hard to handle for some but if you really want to live inspired, you’ve got to move from the screen and get your hands nice and dirty. Stick with me here; it’s not just a figure of speech when you hear the term, the “gift of giving”. We are a social species and we need to be with real people doing something meaningful. I’ve been working alongside some incredibly selfless people over the years and I always gaped in awe at how they maintain their energy levels, but I think I understand it now! 

Volunteering for an NGO sounds like a drag, but it’s quite the opposite. Unlike social media, you stop thinking about yourself. You and your ego take a backseat and all you’re involved in are real issues in real time in the real world. You’ll be taken out of your bubble and pushed into uncomfortable scenarios and I can assure you that you’ll want to run away at first. That’s all right when you volunteer you’ll figure out how complicated it all is and you’ll, without doubt, realise how naïve a past Facebook rant may have been. 

Now comes the inspiration. It’s not an instant gratification-type, rather a slow and powerful type where even on the hardest of days you’ll be filled with purpose and appreciation for the real people you’re working side-by-side with. We can search for inspiration in Insta-posts, but it’ll be short-lived and disposable. But, where real inspiration lies is within you, within a strong community and by getting out, absorbed in something meaningful. 

Here's a list of great charities and NGO’s that can always use support: 

1. SANCCOB | Protection of Marine ecosystem and animals: www.sanccob.co.za
2. Dream Higher | Climbing and outdoor outreach for disadvantaged children and young adults: www.dreamhigher.co.za
3. Habitat for Humanity| volunteers have the opportunity to help communities address, improve and self-manage their development to sustain their economic futures: www.habitat.org.za
4. Help2Read| help children from disadvantaged communities learn to read : www.help2read.org
5. Side Walk Specials | Rescue dogs from abusive situations and get them off euthanasia lists: www.sidewalkspecials.org
6. GreenPop| Plant Trees: www.greenpop.org 

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