7.19.2011

How to Change the World

Here's my best advice:

The people who truly change the world have the following mindset: They don't just accept things for the way they are. They don't just wish things were better. They look at each situation, and ask, "How can I change this for the better... given the existing limitations?" And BAM-- the world is suddenly more awesome.

This represents my core view of change... and the thought process behind each of my decisions and actions.

Basically, I look at life as a series of obstacles... a unique set of challenges that can either be:
accepted for what they are,
wished away for what they're not,
or changed into what they should be.

The third option requires the most work, as well as the right mindset, proper strategy, and most importantly... action.

But, we live in a world of complacency... mixed with a controlled desire for things to be different. Thus, our society often lacks the motivation to take any credible action toward change.

And, therein lies the problem. Accepting injustice only breeds more injustice. Wishing for change only brings less change.  

There's no question that the world is full of barriers and limitations. In the short-term, certain conditions exist... whether you like them or not. Sometimes, the laws are the problem. Sometimes, it's the people, or the finances, or the environment. You may want to change these things... but, as far as today--right now--goes... you aren't moving that mountain before dark.

So, instead, many people just accept these stumbling blocks as concrete walls, claiming, "It is what it is. Why try? I can't change it." 

And trust me on this: if you believe that you can't change something... you won't.

Other people wish. They wish that things could be different... they hope... they pray... that maybe--someday, somehow--the world will be a better place. Maybe things will magically change without the need to take action, or maybe someone else will do something about it...

Maybe someone else will save all the pets in the animal shelters. Maybe someone else will foster that dog. Maybe someone else will donate to charities. Maybe someone else will adopt a pet. Maybe someone else will volunteer for the dog rescue. Maybe someone else will change the laws. Maybe someone else will end the killing. Maybe someone... anyone... but me.

 If enough of those narrow-minded thinkers get together... nothing will ever change for the better. Nothing.

Change only occurs with action-- the right action, driven by the right plan, made at the right time. Anyone who has ever changed anything understands this. If you've never truly changed the world, even in some small way, re-read that sentence. Then, go out and do something about it.

In the short-term, change requires a realistic approach... taking action, based on the unlimited possibilities within the limited circumstances. Essentially, you're thinking outside-the-box... while staying inside-the-box.

In the long-term, the "box" becomes irrelevant... because the unlimited possibilities can be leveraged to "un-limit" the circumstances.

This is where the world really changes--forever. Think big. Think different. Think no-kill.

Short-term changes lead to long-term changes. Small differences lead to big differences. But here's the best part: anyone can contribute. Everyone can do something. Never ever say that you can't change the world. You can.

And when you do... BAM-- the world is suddenly more awesome.

*If you'd like to help animal shelters, adopt a pet, or volunteer for Lucky Dog Rescue, send me an email: luckydogrescueblog@gmail.com. 
**If you'd like to donate to charities, I've got one here for ya! 

27 comments:

  1. So funny that you wrote this because I just had this same epiphany the other day. I was wondering how people could abandon the people who raised them in nursing homes....and BAM! I decided to get my Rottie girl CGC certified so that I can take her to a nursing home near my parents home. She has the perfect temperament for the job :)

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  2. Adriana, THAT is why I LOVE you! Amazing! I am so proud of you! That's going to have an incredible impact... Wow. You're wonderful.
    And BAM-- the world is suddenly more awesome because of YOU!

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  3. How do you manage to always look so awesome in these pics!? i'm amazed. When I'm out trying to make the world better for my fosters, I look way more frumpy and sloppy :)
    Cheers - Changing the world and doing it in style!

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  4. Jen, you are far too kind! Trust me, I've got frumpy, sloppy, and covered in dirt down to a science.

    I have no doubt that you look incredible as you save those lives :) Way better than me!

    And yes, cheers to changing the world! You're doing it every single day!

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  5. And you once again see the world as I see it. We can either sit around and talk about it, or we can get off our asses and make things happen. We may falter. We may fail. But we do know that if we try, we will never say "what if". Maybe I cant change the whole world, but I can change the world for a few as they see it.

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  6. I work with a rescue group in Covington, north of Memphis and have just recently started helping a group of ladies with our county shelter. It is so overwhelming and discouraging sometimes. Thank you so much for your encouragement today!
    Sherry C.

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  7. Adrian, you inspire me more than you know. You're an awesome friend, amazing person, and a world-changer if I've ever met one. Thank you for being you.

    Sherry, thank you for all that you're doing. You really are changing the world... I promise you. Even when it doesn't seem that way-- YOU ARE! :)

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  8. You are a world changer Ashley.Just look at how many animals have been saved because of your insistence that the world does not stay the same.I have been thinking no kill for a while now and hope to open my own no kill shelter somehow,someday.You are a huge inspiration for me because of what you do and I think the world needs a lot more people like you in it.I advocate for as many pets as I can because it's all I can do for now due to space limitations but I hope and pray to open that no kill shelter someday or make an impact in the animal world somehow.Thank you for being a world changer,George Fraser

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  9. so true and so inspiring. I'm going to email you what I've done to change the world lately.

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  10. For evil to win all it takes for is for good women to do nothing. Thank you for doing something

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  11. You are amazing and such an inspiration. Thanks for being a constant reminder that I can always do more.

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  12. George, that meant THE WORLD to me.
    Somewhat Hopeful, I can't wait to read it! Thank you!
    Foley Monster & Pocket, I love you dearly. Thank you.
    Jenny, you just made me smile :)

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  13. My 12 year old son and I recently (3 weeks ago) started volunteering at a local rescue. He has fallen in love with the place, people and animals. I have never seen him so excited, I think he had found his "passion" I am so proud of him!! He tells me all the time thday when he grows up he wants to make a difference......little does he know, he aleady is :)

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  14. YES!!!!!!! This is SO spot on, I don't believe it could have been said any better :) This is EXACTLY what I have been trying to get across to my peers when I hear "I can't bare to look, it's too depressing." Thank you thank you thank you!

    Keep your head up, what is do is amazing and inspiring for all of us out there trying to change the world one step at time :D <>

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  15. If more people got out and did the "little bit" they can do, instead of sitting at home and saying they can't do much, the world would be a much better place.

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  16. Thanks Ashley for being an inspiration. I admire u!

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  17. Ashley I have to tell you that after I read this, it really made me think about everything in my life. I love animals so much and would take them all in if I could. I want to help as much as I can, just tell me what else I can do. Ya know people have always told me the exact things that you mentioned in your blog. Trina, you can't save the world. I have always tried to help if I can. Please tell me any ideas you have or what else I can do to help these animals?

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  18. I just posted the comment above and wasn't sure what profile actually was.

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  19. You need to write a book someday (soon)! Stories of your life as a rescuer coupled with your insight, wisdom (way beyond your years) and inspiration.

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  20. Just the words I needed. When I think that I can't do what I want, because I am only one person, then it seems overwhelming. But I keep trying to assure myself that even the small steps count. I may not be able to save or change the things I despise (regarding people who abuse animals), but I have to keep telling myself that even baby steps count. Enough baby steps may lead to something bigger. Thank you for being a catalyst for people like me who can become discouraged easily. I know I will never be able to do as much as you do Ashley, but I will also never give up doing what I can for animals. "Saving The World, One Dog At A Time" is my new mantra!!! Hope you don't mind me borrowing it!

    Kathy Burnett

    Not sure what the profile is? Definitely not anonymous!

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  21. Rescue/save one at a time..... People are easily over-whelmed by the sheer magnitude of abuse/neglected/abandoned furry angels and the horrible stories. They need reminders of how the small sacrifices really accumulate and that not everyone is expected to accomplish the identical results ---- but, do something! Find pro bono attorneys to assist with legal aid; email prosecutors & legislators to enforce and promote equitable, compassionate laws; have a bake sale or a tag sale and donate the money. Telephone and voice opinions and solutions. Little things do matter - all these furry angels matter. Listen to your hearts! We have six rescued/adopted dachshunds and wish it could be sixty ----- but it is what it is, six that never have to worry about anything or any monster again. Six in a furever home, off the streets and out of the puppy mill prisons. We volunteer for a rescue group, we donate, we email, we write letters, we phone & sign petitions. PLEASE help us help the helpless.....

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  22. Brenda J - Terre HauteJuly 20, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    Ashley, you write such moving, down-to-earth blogs that they can't help but touch people deep down in their hearts. I always look forward to reading your blogs & getting cheered up when I read them. I advocate for Pet Pardons every day & it brings tears to my eyes when I see pardoned ones, that I helped advocate for. You are truly an awesome lady!!

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  23. Totally inspiring. I know if we all do a little it will help alot. Thank you.

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  24. These words are the truth.

    I need courage to move forward and wisdom to know the right action, hatch the right plan, at the right time. . .

    Thank you for inspiring so many, including me.

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  25. I am disabled so I don't know what I can do. I cross post or share as much as possible wish I could do more....

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  26. Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have.

    Margaret Mead

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  27. Rosa Parks was a woman who "simply" asked for her due respect as a person - and society was changed. Your positive, one person action on behalf of others creates ripple effects, inspiring others as Ashley does with her rescue and writing, as Kristine does sharing Shiva with us and inviting us to help her help other dog parents with questions, as Alexsandra and her husband do by fostering one lovely dog at a time....Real change is not made by committee; it is made by the heart. One of the most inspiring films I have ever watched (and re-watched) is "Apollo 13." Men could very easily have been lost but the challenge was laid down to those in the trenches, who dealt with space and its quirks on a daily basis. With slide rules, commitment and passion, the men of Apollo 13 were saved. Each time you foster, rescue, adopt, donate, volunteer, you touch lives far beyond your own. Thank you, Ashley, for writing far more clearly than I what is needed - BAM! I think of my friend Alice, who celebrates this Saturday the 6 years of Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary in Jackson, MO. She will NOT let any of her animals down - ever. Much like Ashley :).

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