by Suzanne F. Stevens, Conscious-Contribution™ Cultivator, Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), originally posted on YouMeWe.ca
How affected are you by incidents happening within our local community or abroad? In other words, how big is your backyard?
Recently a friend posted on Facebook this image.
There is a distinct tone of, ‘Why don’t we give our attention to those in our backyard first?’ Now he is not alone, as this is where much international (and local) political debate and disruption is occurring.
When people are in crisis, they approach issues from different perspectives. Some will make it personal—“I was just there, thank goodness I made it home safe.” Some will say, “That is too bad,” but feel utterly untouched by something on the other side of the world. Others will want to get involved and help ease the pain of the situation. We all come from different perspectives, but which is right?
Well, it depends, how big is your backyard?
How big is your backyard?
People’s experiences shape their perspectives. Some people focus on their tribe, their community, or their nation. We often hear in the news while discussing a disaster on a different continent, “There were (place number) Canadians, injured or killed.” This reference is a proximity paradigm – we care if an incident directly impacts our community, city, or country, which is why the media reports information in the context of the listener, so they care.
When it is said, “Take care of the people in your backyard first,” it suggests, ‘Take care of our own.’ Who is that? Who is ‘our own?’
Is that to say we shouldn’t protect injustices if they are not of the same culture, geography, race, or sex?
I think not.
Don’t we have a responsibility to echo other’s voices when injustices are being done?
I recall in Toronto when black Canadians were protesting police brutality in 2012. Many people who were white also joined the protest. A woman interviewed on the news suggested it was not a “white person’s issue.”
Dr Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t ask the white people who walked hand-in-hand with the African Americans across the bridge in Selma to go home.
In October 2017 when the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault, especially in the workplace, was gaining momentum, Women didn’t say to men, we don’t want your support, they encouraged it.
Suppressing people’s voices perpetuate a mentality of us versus them. It is the cause of wars, terrorism, gangs, and hatred in general.
This is not my backyard.
To make real change, we need the participation of all people, those in direct line of fire, and people that realize it is unjust not to honour someone’s human rights. The United Nations Women, HeForShe movement, recognises that equality is achieved when all genders are in the conversation.
My view is simple. There is only one race—the human race.
My view is simple. There is only one race—the human race. #MyContributionCounts #YouMeWeMovement
Click To Tweet
The size of your backyard is relative to your view of the world.
The size of your backyard is relative to your view of the world. If you have a ‘take care of your own’ philosophy, your view may be smaller. If your contributions are far-reaching, your view is likely larger. There is no right or wrong; it is just your view. But regardless of the perspective you take, I implore you not to segregate, but to integrate. At our core, we all have similar values of living a life of well-being, to love, to be loved, and to be part of something bigger than ourselves.
At our core, we all have similar values of living a life of well-being, to love, to be loved, and to be part of something bigger than ourselves. So #MakeYourContributionCount #YouMeWeMovement
Click To Tweet
Where you decide to contribute your time, energy, or money is dictated by your view, your passion, and your purpose.
I’m so grateful for my desire to travel, as that is why my backyard got big. It wasn’t until 2007 when I started my adventures in Africa did my life evolve from me to we. Everything I knew became a stepping-stone for everything I was about to experience, a journey where I continue to walk, learn, and share.
One of my most profound realizations, life is not just for living but also for serving the living. Legacy is not a stage in life, but a way in which we live our life—What legacy will you live on route to making your contribution count?
Interestingly, another friend responded to the Facebook post with this comment.
Your voice carries, so if you believe in an issue, regardless of gender, colour, culture or race – your voice matters. You can add to the dialogue.
Please share, do you think locally or globally? Where is it most important to make your contribution to count?
Until next time, make your contribution count!
Consider how to make your contribution count:
- When you contribute, where do you focus first, why?
- Do you feel people should take care of their local community first, why?
- What issues capture your attention, and why?