COLUMN: What The World Needs Now Is Love, Sweet Love

Posted On February 16, 2018

Column by Laura Priebe, Literacy Administrator with Hoosier Hills Literacy League

Dionne Warwick sang it first in 1966.

It makes a good song, and who can argue with the idea?

It’s a simple idea, but it’s not so simple to implement.

You can’t exactly go around hugging everyone you meet.  In fact, that approach could do more harm than good!

But it’s also been said that one way to spell love is T-I-M-E.

Everyone has ideas about what is wrong in our society.  We could talk about the breakdown of the family, the lack of funding/accountability/values in our public education system, how easy it is to get illegal weapons or illegal drugs, the lack of caring community and the resulting rise in loneliness.

We can name the problem, but that only will get us so far.  If we want to be part of the solution, we need to take the next step.

If love is the answer, and love is spelled TIME, then why not find the non-profit that addresses a particular problem, and VOLUNTEER?

You can mentor a child through Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and support a struggling family. (Go to www.bigsforkids.org, or call Laura Rolf at 812-747-7281)

You can volunteer in a local classroom through Hoosier Hills Literacy League and support a kindergarten teacher. (Call Laura Priebe at 812-584-8516, or go to http://www.hoosierhillsliteracyleague.net/volunteer.html)

You can join with Citizens Against Substance Abuse and support the individuals working on the ground level to encourage us all to Always Think Prevention. (http://www.dearborncountycasa.com/)

You can be the Voice of a Child who has been a victim of abuse or neglect, and become trained as a Court Appointed Child Advocate. (Go to https://www.voiceofachild.net/ or call 812-537-8741)

If you are over the age of 55, you can join with others in a variety of volunteer opportunities through Retired & Senior Volunteer Program.  (http://www.myrsvp.org/, or call 812-539-4005)

These are just some ideas, and each has a different time commitment.  If nothing here appeals to you, get on-line and search for an opportunity that fits your passion.

Volunteering benefits our community, but the person who volunteers also experiences many benefits as well. According to an on-line article in The Balance, some of those benefits include better brain function, more powerful attachments, improved mental health, emotional stability, self-esteem, and even job prospects.  Studies also show that those who volunteer not only lead more satisfied lives, but they also live longer! (https://www.thebalance.com/unexpected-benefits-of-volunteering-4132453)

So, instead of complaining about how bad things are, get in there and make a positive change.  You’ll be glad you did.

Laura Priebe is the Literacy Administrator of the Hoosier Hills Literacy League, a United Way Agency. The Hoosier Hills Literacy League enhances personal growth and individual livelihood by providing literacy instruction, community outreach and supportive resources to residents of Southeastern Indiana. Among its programs are the Adult Literacy classes, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, Independent Study towards the HSE (formerly GED) at the Dearborn County Jail, tutor training and one-on-one tutoring.