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Be encouraged no matter the circumstances, reach out to others

Sometimes we dwell on the tragedies in the news, giving them far too much weight. There is still war in the Ukraine, and no one can be happy with the incidents occurring in the Gaza Strip. Hunger, homelessness, and desperate health needs still plague undeveloped countries, and even some that are more advanced.

You can look at these things and couple them with some of the dreadful realities closer to home and become rather discouraged. The United States refuses to do anything to even address measures to significantly eliminate gun violence. And as this is ignored, the body count on our streets continues to mount.

The manner in which we address the most needy population is the same in the eyes of God. Too many politicians scoff at programs and initiatives designed to ease the impoverished lifestyles. The arrogance of the affluent continues to point the blame at the victim as though any human being prefers indigence over prosperity.

Health needs not only continue to be a priority in the U.S., but those in Congress and those running for president on the Republican ticket are threatening to reduce or eliminate the meager resources available to the sickest and least protected citizens.

And too few Americans are willing to openly confront the elephant in the room, and that is the growing ratio and religious intolerance among those who put themselves in a space of superiority as far as society is concerned.

Voter rights continue to be a threat to people of color. The immigration argument has taken an ugly turn, with references to the bad blood threat to this nation from people of African and Asian descent. The level of antisemitism and xenophobia is off the chart.

Finally, the rights of women are in constant peril as old white men make decisions that don’t impact their lives or health. It is such a level of contempt and disrespect that it can hardly be believed as we approach 2024, no matter whether one takes liberal or conservative views on specific issues. The dehumanizing of women and usurping of their power to determine what is best for them is nothing short of shameful.

All this being said, I submit to you there is a great reason for Hope. First of all, we can remind ourselves how often God has taken us through one storm after another only to allow us to rise above the fray stronger than ever. He is the same guy today He was yesterday and tomorrow He changeth not.

I don’t feel no ways tired. We’ve come too far from where we started. God didn’t bring us this far to leave us.

In addition to the spiritual undergirding of our circumstances, there’s so much we can do as individuals to bring about positive change.

Yes, the most powerful weapon is voter education, registration and activation. We must not only vote but become advocates in our every sphere of influence. Home. Work. Church. School. Civic. Neighborhood. Family. There is much too much at stake for apathy.

Even before the election next year, we must all look around and examine what we can do and ways we can help other people closer to home. Determine in what ways you can personally uplift or encourage another—especially the most vulnerable populations. At the end of every day, we should ask what we did to improve or uplift a life or situation.

It’s the least we can do.

CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference-makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: [email protected].

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