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opting in
Check out Amy's book: Opting In: Having a Child Without Losing Yourself (read an excerpt)



I'm twenty-seven and a fairly average woman, but I'm constantly saddened at the state of the world about me. However, I'm too shy to do anything about it. I don't know where to begin, or how to stand up and say something. I know that sounds rather pathetic, but I don't know where to start. I don't want women to be treated the way they are, and I don’t want the world to carry on as it has been because I didn't try and help, but I really don't know how to start or where. I'm rather scared of people generally, and I’m not sure how to do anything. I know that sounds very feeble, but I wondered if anyone else had ever felt like this and still been able to help?

I often think it's best to start local—are there things in your immediate reach that need help/fixing? That said, many people try to have the most impact on things the furthest away—such as trying to help women and girls in the Congo or Afghanistan. I certainly think it's important to help those who have the greatest need, but I also think we often overlook problems right in front of us—perhaps because they don't seem "desperate enough." I don't know where you are located, but perhaps try to find out if there is a local battered women's shelter, a local YWCA, or even a local school that needs reading tutors. I think it's also important to state what unique skills you bring to the table—perhaps it's time, or maybe you are a great writer or a professional graphic designer. I think matching your skillset with an organization's needs is key as those organizations are often so understaffed.

I hope that gets you thinking—and mostly I hope it makes you a bit more optimistic and gives you more reasons to do something. I think even giving back a little makes the problems seem less insurmountable—you are at least contributing something!




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