There is no point running about claiming to have your shit together if you are neglecting your loved ones, your friends, members of your community or anyone else that finds themselves in times of hardship or crisis. We are not doing well in the world when we ignore those around us that are fallen, weak, lonely or destitute.
When we find ourselves in a position of good fortune and wellness then it is our turn to extend a hand, an ear or a dollar to assist others to stand back up onto their feet as well. Some people are only in need of some quality time, a little tea and sympathy may be all that is required. A kind word, a small gesture or thought, a supportive conversation; helping others doesn't have to be expensive or difficult.
It is true that some people's needs may require more time and money than you can invest in on your own, but you can still be a catalyst in launching a meaningful kick start with the help of a local charity or foundation. You can volunteer some time to a local organisation that is in alignment with something that you care about, you can help to fundraise for an important cause and you can spare a few dollars to allow someone else to have more.
People often don't volunteer because they just don't know where to start, but there are some amazing online resources for people that want to volunteer that can help you to find ways to be supportive and it is super easy to do. The best place to start if you are Australian is to hop onto the govolunteer.com.au website. You can put in your postcode and it will list all of the volunteering opportunities that are coming up in your local area and you can even refine your searches to chose the days, times and types of volunteer activities that you would like to participate in. Once you have found an opportunity that suits you, you just put in an expression of interest to the organisation and you're on your way to making a difference.
However, if getting involved in something big or organisational isn't your bag, then that's okay too because there are always things that need to be done on a small scale that are no less meaningful or important. You do not need to be making grand or sweeping gestures to be making a difference in the lives of others or showing that you care about the needs of others. In fact, if you really start to listen to the people that are around you everyday in your immediate community, you will find that there are actually opportunities to offer support an help in simple and yet very meaningful ways all of the time.
Do you know of a tired parent in need a childminder so that they can go and have a coffee with a friend or have an interrupted haircut? Does an exhausted friend need a meal cooked for them and a sympathetic ear? Does a sad co-worker need to be told how amazing they are and what a terrific job they do? Does your elderly neighbour need their lawn mowed? Does your partner deserve a back rub? Have you told your children or your parents how much you appreciate them? There are millions of ways that we can be taking care of others everyday, and more often than not it costs very little of your time, effort and money to do so.
And the best thing of all about caring for others is that is so good for your soul and your own sense of wellbeing. Start with something small, a random act of kindness or an act of support to someone in your community, and keep building on it. If everyone that was able to offer just a little of themselves every week to help someone else in need, can you imagine what a marvellous world we would live in and how terrifically supported we would all feel? Pay a little of your time, love and/or money forward this week to someone else and enjoy the feeling of knowing that you are making a difference, helping out someone in need, doing something meaningful and contributing to something a whole lot bigger than yourself.
Release Date: 2011
Running Time: 146 mins
Adapted from Kathryn Stockett's bestselling 2009 novel of the same name, this period drama highlights the Civil Rights era in 1963 Jackson, Mississippi.
Aspiring author Skeeter Phelan decides to write a secret novel based on the lives of African-American maids and the incredible racism and hardships that they endure working in servitude to prominent southern families. Along the way unlikely friendships are forged and a sisterhood emerges as the women find themselves bound by their harrowing experiences and empowered by their chance to speak out during such a racially intense period.
This is a magnificent story, highlighting all of the discrimination and mistreatment of African American workers during the 1960's. Speckled with just enough humour and triumph to make you adore the characters just as much as you empathise with them.
Emma Stone quickly became Hollywood's darling after making The Help since her portrayal of Skeeter Phelan was such a wonderful mix of adorable and intelligence. Octavia Spencer won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her powerful and often hilarious portrayal of Minny Jackson and Jessica Chastain gives new meaning to the words 'entitled bitch.'
This is a movie worthy of everyone's time, and a story that everyone should hear, two big thumbs up from me.
FINAL SAY: Eat my shit!
4.5 Chilli Peppers