Inside: Never underestimate the power a happy, peaceful home can have on your family, your community, and even the world! It’s a worthy pursuit, for sure!
I recently found myself in a conversation about “world peace”, and my first thought was Sandra Bullock’s pageant speech from the 2000 comedy, Miss Congeniality.
On a slightly more serious note, many of the women in my circle (lots of stay at home moms and grandmas) feel somewhat out-of-the-loop when it comes to making a difference in the world around us.
I know my life often feels about the size of a fishbowl — living, working, and hanging out at home with my family for the vast majority of my days while others are out on the front lines fighting for freedom, justice, and peace.
What can we really do at home to counteract riots, mass shootings, incessant social media banter, sex trafficking, injustice, and political unrest — and instead promote more peace?
Like me, you may never be the type to stand in a crowded picket line, speak on stage about injustice, or spread the gospel to a third-world country, but I’m confident we can still do our part to create a more peaceful world… starting within our own homes.
If you find yourself at home thinking you can’t make a difference or that your actions don’t matter, I hope you’ll reconsider!
More than ever, I’m convinced our homes are the launching point for big important world changes.
Don’t underestimate the power a happy, peaceful home can have on your family, your community, and even the world.
It’s a worthy pursuit, for sure!
1. Respect authority.
I’m not a political person, so this doesn’t just apply to government politics — rather anyone in authority over us.
Dave and I do not personally agree with every decision our church, schools, and community organizations have made regarding COVID — but that doesn’t mean we get defensive, cause an uproar, pull our kids out of school, or switch churches.
We also don’t always agree with every rule put in place by our local or national government and law enforcement — but we can still be respectful of these authority figures who are (usually) doing what they feel is best to keep us safe.
I can only assume that most of us would never want to lead our churches, our schools, our community, or our country… so instead of criticizing or complaining about decisions we often have very little control over, let’s choose to respect authority and model that respect for our children.
We don’t need to agree with authority, we don’t need to vote for them or even like them… just respect them.
Can you fathom the world-wide impact if everyone simply respected authority?
2. Realize “different” is not “bad” or “wrong”.
I dare to bet you have a few close friends and family members who feel differently than you do regarding safety precautions for COVID, the upcoming election, the “right” way to utilize financial resources, the best schooling options, etc. etc.
It’s easy to feel defensive when others blatantly disagree with us… oh, how well I know this!
But most of the time, neither party is necessarily right or wrong… we just have different opinions.
It doesn’t have to be personal if we don’t let it — it certainly doesn’t need to come between our relationships. Just think how boring life would be if everyone agreed on everything all the time.
3. Monitor media.
Limiting my exposure to media is something I’ve consciously made an effort to do since 2012 when I realized the negative effect it had on my mental wellbeing.
I started by simply not watching as much TV, and it has since morphed into much more.
Need some simple ideas to get started?
- Unsubscribe from all magazines and newspapers.
- Stop listening to political or controversial radio stations.
- Stop watching live TV. I always forget how quickly commercials affect me.
- Use social media sparingly (I only use it for business purposes — rarely ever just “browsing” to see what others are up to.)
- Turn all cell phone notifications off (I only get notifications for phone calls and text messages from people I know).
- Delete social media and news apps from your phone (this has been SO freeing for me).
- Wear a watch. (I recently bought a watch so I’m not tempted to “check my phone” for the time and then get sucked down a rabbit trail of checking emails and updates.)
These small changes contribute to a slower, more intentional, more content, and more peaceful life.
NOTE: If you’re struggling with fear, anxiety, depression, or just feeling inadequate, I encourage you to stop consuming the news and checking/updating your social media. Try to stay away for a full day, then a full week, then a month. This has truly been life-changing for me!
4. Speak truthfully.
It’s so easy to casually repeat something we hear… or spin information to sound more negative and make our current situation feel worse.
- Did you hear what ____________ school is doing with masks?
- Did you see that ___________ church is/is not open?
- Can you believe what _______ company/brand/blogger said (or didn’t say) about Black Lives Matter?
- Did you hear the latest ruling from the governor?
Even if you don’t have young children at home who might be listening, it’s beneficial to pause before repeating these things out loud (and especially before sharing them online).
5. Think positively.
Science confirms that perpetual negative self-talk has very detrimental effects on our mental wellbeing — while positive thinking can drastically improve our quality of life.
Make it a habit to stop yourself whenever you have negative thoughts (specifically about yourself, your current life situation, or the state of our country).
It’s not easy, but it gets easier over time (I know from experience!)
Just think how much happier and more peaceful our world would be if everyone practiced some good, old-fashioned positive thinking!
6. Do something nice for someone else.
It’s easy to worry or feel anxious about all sorts of “what-if” situations when we’re constantly focused on OURSELVES.
If you catch yourself worrying, feeling anxious, or obsessively stockpiling toilet paper, consider distracting your mind and body by doing something nice for someone else.
- Call a friend.
- Help a neighbor with yard work.
- Make cards with your children and mail them to sick and elderly people in your community.
- Bring flowers to a neighbor.
- Go for a walk with your children/grandchildren.
- Make a meal for someone.
You might be surprised how therapeutic it can be to help someone else in need.
Life is a lot more enjoyable (and peaceful) when we look out for each other instead of just ourselves.
7. Focus on what you CAN control.
Instead of focusing on all the things we can’t control, let’s focus on what we CAN control instead — namely, what happens inside the walls of our homes.
I believe our homes should restore us from the day and ready us for tomorrow, which is why I’m passionate about creating a more peaceful home environment for myself and my family.
I can’t control the world (much to my dismay!) but I can control much of what happens in my home.
And the ripple effect of a happy, peaceful home is far-reaching.
Ideas to create a more peaceful home:
- Live simply and within your means to reduce unnecessary stress.
- Do less — literally! Use the extra downtime to just hang out and enjoy being together.
- Keep your home clean and organized enough so your time spent at home is more relaxing and peaceful.
- Use what you have and do what you can to promote small positive changes.
- Model a life of peace and contentment for your children and those around you.
It’s amazing what can spawn from small changes implemented first at home.
You don’t need millions of followers, the ability to speak eloquently, or a pageant stage to bring about world peace (or any wide-spread positive change).