My dad was a big fan of “contributing to society” as a virtue and goal. Sadly my dad died young, because I’d love to ask him how to contribute in 2020.
Finding a way to DO anything these days is difficult with the “you know what” lurking out there preventing us from gathering in groups, going to some jobs, school, church, all the normal things we do as humans in a society. Virtual life is just that, fake. Sure, you can do some stuff virtually, like read stuff and buy stuff and talk to people through computer screens, but often it feels like I’m wasting my life away. I’m struggling to even know what it is that I want to do. This virtual world is not fulfilling my need to feel like a contributing member of society. Do you have that need to contribute?
Society by definition is community, association, intimacy, meeting together, and having relationships.
Do you feel like you are part of society right now? Does social media fulfill you? Do you feel connected, related, intimate, or associated with people? I feel lonely, disconnected, and grieved at the loss of these things, and I am not even a very connected person. But the little bit I did before this started, I miss it.
Contributing to society is about participation, not #stayinghome. Contributing means putting in your share to increase the value of the whole. The current value of everything is dropping rapidly without the daily contributions of millions of people to the world.
We can still contribute
It’s not as easy, but we can still find ways to add value to our communities and society. So what am I doing? Well, it doesn’t feel like much, but I am keeping my family fed, homeschooling, doing the normal chores and shopping, trying to help my husband who has injured himself and is doing poorly, and as seen below, taking care of our chickens. Eggs! Who doesn’t love fresh yard eggs? I’m selling and giving them away, which feels good. I’ve also been selling books and odds and ends on Ebay which feels like something real. Our church is open and I’m attending, but attendance is not back to normal and people are socially distanced. I do Bible study via Zoom. I’m blogging a little. My running is way down, but I’m still out there. And lots of reading. But I really miss spending time with happy, relaxed people and normal, non-political conversations.
By God’s grace we will get through this! However it plays out, God is still with us and He never stops working for our good and His glory. This is a great time to really dig in to God’s word! We can pray, we can give money to our favorite causes, we can talk to people about God, we can have faith, trust, and look for ways to serve our communities safely. Things are different for many of us, but at least in this country our basic needs are met, unlike some countries. However, there are still vulnerable populations that need help. Maybe you can volunteer. Now is also a good time to be studying history, other cultures, politics, science and reading the classics. When we do get to be around other people, we can encourage them with our faith and we can talk about things other than politics and the ‘rona! Life is still worth living. Don’t get discouraged.
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from any brother who leads an undisciplined life that is not in keeping with the tradition you receivedb from us. 7For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not undisciplined among you, 8nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. Instead, in labor and toil, we worked night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9Not that we lack this right, but we wanted to offer ourselves as an example for you to imitate. 10For even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “If anyone is unwilling to work, he shall not eat.”
11Yet we hear that some of you are leading undisciplined lives and accomplishing nothing but being busybodies. 12We command and urge such people by our Lord Jesus Christ to begin working quietly to earn their own living. 13But as for you, brothers, do not grow weary in well-doing.
14Take note of anyone who does not obey the instructions we have given in this letter. Do not associate with him, so that he may be ashamed. 15Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother. 2 Thessalonians 3 BSB
What do you normally and currently do to contribute to the value of society, your community, the world? How have you been affected and how is your mental health? Please join the discussion in the comments!