The List


  1. Get the situation in perspective
  2. Don’t believe everything you hear or read
  3. Remember the underlying humanity of everyone involved
  4. Learn about the cultures and histories involved
  5. Learn the language(s)
  6. Compare information from various sources
  7. Identify, and then challenge, your own preconceptions
  8. Address the needs – and fears – of children
  9. Insist on keeping joy in your life
  10. Don’t fall victim to “CNN-ility”
  11. Stay connected to your community (or get connected to one)
  12. Respect those who disagree with you
  13. Find the connection between the crisis and your own life (are you doing anything that contributes to the problem?)
  14. Vote with your dollars: boycotts
  15. Vote with your dollars: give money (or spend money) where appropriate
  16. Write to your local (or national!) newspapers
  17. Write to your elected representatives
  18. Find the groups that share your views and join them
  19. Solicit the opinions of people you respect
  20. Only share reliable information (don’t spread rumors)
  21. Organize or participate in a march or demonstration
  22. Set up an information table
  23. Arrange a lecture, or a lecture series
  24. Arrange a town meeting
  25. Become the media: make your own videos
  26. Keep the discussion going
  27. Learn about conflict resolution and mediation
  28. Stay centered
  29. Use your creativity: write poems, stories, or songs about the situation
  30. Use your creativity: produce a play or street theatre
  31. Watch your language
  32. Refuse to let the situation take over your life
  33. Use your creativity: design something (bumper stickers, T-shirts…)
  34. Allow for the possibility that you are mistaken
  35. Don’t forget your core values
  36. Withdraw consent
  37. Listen to the feelings of others
  38. Run for office
  39. Participate politically
  40. Raise money
  41. Stick to the high ground
  42. Share what you know
  43. Find experts and ask them about the situation
  44. Remember the blind men and the elephant
  45. Intervene
  46. Learn about people who have made a difference in the past
  47. Learn about people who are making a difference now
  48. Hit the library!
  49. “Practice random acts of kindness and senseless beauty”
  50. Share this resource, and add to it…

    Additional ideas submitted by readers and workshop participants…

  51. Cut other people some slack
  52. Create positive alternatives
  53. Ask “Why?” – a lot (root cause analysis)
  54. Change your perspective: consider the possible benefits of the crisis
  55. Take the long view
  56. Take care of yourself
  57. Set your boundaries (or understand the ones that have been set for you)
  58. Follow the money
  59. Filter and focus
  60. Think about timescales – immediate crises vs. long-term crises
  61. Surrender
  62. Pay attention to what your body is telling you
  63. Pick your targets
  64. Don’t engage bullies
  65. Draw your own conclusions
  66. Seek unity… when possible
  67. Postpone judgment
  68. Allow people to change
  69. Feelings are not facts
  70. Practice mindfulness
  1. Cat says:

    Don’t engage bullies

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