1. Speak well of it.
Yes, there is a lot of bad news floating around. No need to pass it on. If you love a person, you speak well of them. If you love a nation, you discover her strengths, beauties, historical golden eras; and celebrate them. This may take intentional effort. Search out good stories from the place you want to advocate. Then, make a point to bring up a positive thing about that nation when someone speaks ill of it. Moreover, make a goal to bring up something wondrous about that nation every week. (You can help keep yourself on track by making a reminder in your phone or committing to do it every Monday, for example. Hey, it could be “Mention It Monday!”)
2. Collect positive tidbits about it.
Start a Pinterest board about this nation you adore. Do you love Ireland? Pin about Ireland. This doesn’t need to be limited to photographs. You can pin articles, videos, songs (perhaps the national anthem) etc. Not into Pinterest? Make a folder on your computer that you can come back to for encouragement and inspiration. Then, even when negative news shows up, you can turn your attention to the wonderful things about the place, instead of jumping on the negativity wagon and handing out sour lollipops. Hand out hope-pops instead.
3. Do something impactful for the nation.
It can be easy to think impact happens only through being in that place. That simply isn’t true. You can positively champion a nation from anywhere. This is particularly possible via the internet. Find others who love that place (search Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube etc) and swirl up a picnic of delight. Share your information with them, glean from their efforts, and encourage them. You could start a Facebook group for friends who love Ireland and make the championing collaborative.
Take it a step further: find an organization that serves that nation and assist them. There are incredible groups working in places like Syria and Iraq. No place is without hope. You can be part of this hope. You could do anything from stuffing envelopes to overseeing a fundraiser to helping them make an album to sending them encouraging cards. Think outside the box. Do you massively respect the director of an organization that educates Iranian women? Offer to wash her car or take her dog for a walk or simply email her and ask how you can be of help.
There is power in your care for nations. Champion on.
Filed under: Travel Thoughts