in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Care about others (Fight the war within)

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From: Patricia A., minneapolis, MN

The "war within" is simply the war of the mind. Why? Because our thoughts control us. If the war within is somehow controlled, people would automatically make right choices -- choices that would affect not only "us four and no more," but the rest of society as well.

Unfortunately, there is a lack of respect and regard for human life. It is not just our teens who feel an incredibly unfounded sense of entitlement. Adults, too, for one reason or another, are selfish and self-centered, and refuse to help others less fortunate than themselves.

The haves and the have nots, we will have always, but we need a balance of equality, a balance of opportunity, a balance of education, a balance of human rights, a balance of housing opportunities, a balance of job opportunities, a balance of health care quality to all -- just to name a few.

People cannot become financial stable until their basic human needs are met. If one is hungry and homeless, education isn't going to be a priority. There is a war within that is eroding our families, our communities, our cities, and our states -- our world. Selfishness, pride, envy, jealousy, and the worst of them, prejudice, are the culprits. They all come from within. theses are not outside issues; these issues can't be resolved from a doctor's visit, or a healing salve. These are issues of the heart.

I do my small part by giving at every opportunity I can. I give a smile, a hug; I recycle my clothes to someone who needs and appreciates them. I give my time; I cautiously open my home to others, prepare a meal, buy a meal, or offer a ride to someone who doesn't have a car. I encourage someone, even when I need encouragement myself; offer something of value (to me) knowing that the person can't pay me back; and simply acknowledge another person's existence. People need to know they're not invisible. I give even when I need to be given to. I'm so far from perfect, and I always make mistakes. But there's one thing I'm good at, and that's loving or trying to love my neighbor as I love myself. This is my small way of helping others become not just financially stable, but stable in body, soul, and mind.


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