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Northern Virginia Ethical Society (NoVES)

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March Service Challenge

  • Sunday, February 21, 2021
  • Wednesday, March 31, 2021


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March marks 1 calendar year since the world shut down in response to COVID-19.  We've all had to make a lot of sacrifices this year.  It is important to remember that there are members of our society that have had to face greater hardships than we could imagine.  With this in mind, I've decided we will focus on Empathy in March.  Empathy is about sharing an emotion with another.  It's the ability to understand how someone else is feeling or the situation they are in.  When you feel an emotion along with someone, even if you aren't directly affected, that's Empathy.

It's easy to take for granted having a roof over your head.  In fact, being quarantined in our homes may make us resent our homes and long for the freedom to leave and wander about in the world.  But that home provides warmth from the cold winter, shelter from the freezing rain and snow, a refrigerator with food for our bellies and running water for drinking and bathing.  These things are easy to overlook because they seem like expected conveniences.  Let's try to imagine how it would feel to live without those things we rely on everyday.

Here are some ways to put yourself in someone else's shoes:

1. Build a fort in your home and try to live in it for one day.  Try to eat in there, sleep in there, play a game in there.  Try to fit your whole family in there.  Imagine it has no windows and the ground is mud.

2. Turn your heat down for 1 day.  FEEL the relentless cold that others may feel every day.  The same cold that the folks in Texas just had to live with during the power outages.  How does it feel to be wearing coats, mittens and scarves all day.

3. Spend 1 day without using electricity.  No internet, no games, no phone, no tv, no lights, no stove, no microwave, no coffee.  Think about how you would cook your food or see in the dark. 

4.  Try to use only bottled water for 1 day.  No handwashing, dishes, laundry or bathing. No flushing the toilet.  How many times a day do you think you turn on a faucet and get clean fresh water without even considering what a privilege that is.

5.  Sit and think about the above 4 suggestions.  Try to imagine what it would be like to be homeless, a refugee or even someone who has been out of work due to COVID and unable to afford to pay the electric or water bill. Think about an average day and how many times you use the conveniences of your home for your personal comfort.  

CHALLENGE: DON'T JUST THINK - DO SOMETHING! Consider making a donation to a food bank, homeless shelter, COVID relief or refugee organization.  See if you can pay the electric bill or water bill for someone in need in your community.

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