TLTA: Technology, Priorities, Helping People

Hi friends! Today let's talk about technology and how to use it more purposefully, shifting priorities, and how we can improve the way we help others.

In my last post, I mentioned that I would be "unplugging" for a a time from social media and cut back a bit on technology in general, and it was INCREDIBLE. I recommend everyone doing this at least once every few months. I had no idea how addicted I was to the internet and my online image. It was so wonderful waking up in the morning and reading a book in bed instead of checking Twitter, and not fussing about what pictures to take to post on Instagram. Obviously I'm back on social media, but for a quick minute I considered deleting my accounts completely. I had the realization that the internet and social platforms are incredibly powerful and we have so much potential to do good with it! I believe the internet's sole purpose is to share good messages with the world. Messages of joy, hope, and knowledge! I encourage all of you to take a break and unplug for a bit to reevaluate how you can utilize the internet and technology in better ways.

The whole reason I disconnected from social media was to focus on getting my life more put together after a really hard trial came my way, and I'm here to announce MY LIFE IS STILL NOT PUT TOGETHER! I say this pretty lightheartedly, but it's been a roller coaster. I am still in Vegas, this time with no sure date as to when I'll be leaving. My parents have decided to officially not help pay for any of my education from here on out, which I completely understand! I'm a big girl, I can do this! The hard part is putting school off for even longer, and deciding where to move, where to work, and how to keep peace in the family. BUT nonetheless, I am pressing forward, as we all should amid chaos! This trial has allowed me to reevaluate my priorities, and for me they are as follows:

1.) Following my Savior and doing whatever my Heavenly Father would have me do
2.) Taking care of my heart
3.) Being financially stable and independent

And that's about it! I think the first two will allow for all things to fall into place. At the end of the day, my goal is to do the best with the hand of cards I've been given (and believe me, I have not been given a bad hand). I don't really know if God is asking me to go full on Nephi and leave my home and possessions and be left with nothing but my faith, but, if He is, so be it! (If you're reading this and don't know who Nephi is, check out the first chapter of the Book of Mormon, it's PHENOMENAL.)

It's been important to me to be more vulnerable lately and not hide my hard times too much. Surprisingly enough, I don't like sharing with others that I'm struggling with anything! I love being dependable and the one to fix everyone else's problems. However if you've seen the movie Inside Out (great movie, 100% would recommend), you'll know that being vulnerable and even sad is how people can help you and lift you up. There have been so many sweet people who do all they can to help my odd situation, and I am so grateful for that. Then, there's been other people who have the most wonderful intentions, but sort of miss the mark on being helpful unfortunately. They make a little mistake that I think we are all so guilty of! (myself included)

When we have a desire to serve and help others, I would say the most important thing to NOT do is assume. We need to stop assuming the reason people are struggling.

If someone is being bullied, don't assume it's because they aren't good at making friends.
If someone is struggling financially, don't assume it's because they just spend too much.
If someone isn't doing well in school, don't assume they just aren't studying properly.
And like my situation, if someone isn't always hanging out with friends, don't assume they're just not very social.

All of these scenarios have so many potential causes. The truth is we don't understand people's challenges most of the time, but the first step is to try and understand. Don't take the easy route. If we want to help people, we need to make a commitment to actively do all we can.
In the example of the student struggling in school, imagine if that student had no time to study because he/she was having to take care of younger siblings, but we assumed it was because they just weren't following the school material properly. What if we offered the student a tutor? On our end, it feels like we did what we could to help, but because we assumed, we have failed that student.
It is a new mission of mine to not "loosely" help people. If I feel the desire to serve someone, I'll serve them 100%. Find out what they need. Find out why they are where they are. Give the help that is actually what they need. Otherwise, I'm just a doctor prescribing the wrong medicine to all of my patients because I haven't done my research well enough.

Just some food for thought there. I'm overall so full of gratitude towards others that I can't even put it into words. If you've made it to this point in my post, THANK YOU! I hope I can stir up some thoughts in that beautiful mind of yours. Please leave your comments and thoughts! I've titled this series "Today Let's Talk About" because I want to start conversations. I want to use the internet to communicate great things. All I can say to you all is thank you from the bottom of my heart. And, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

First chapter of the Book of Mormon:

Looking for ways to serve this Christmas season? Click the link!

Some counsel on using technology:

[1] Here's photographic proof of God's love for us! It literally takes my breath away how beautiful our world is.
(Photo courtesy of Brandon Gibson)

[2] I explained this in a recent Instagram post, but this was my Thanksgiving, and it was non traditional to say the least! But Mom snapped a nice photo of me next to some super fun desert scenery. There's always a reason to smile!

Thank you again for the love!


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