As I walked along the seashore, this young boy greeted me.
He was tossing stranded starfish back to the deep blue sea.
I said, “Tell me why you bother, why you waste your time this way.
There’s a million stranded starfish, does it matter anyway?”
And he said, “It matters to this one. It deserves a chance to grow.
It matters to this one, I can’t save them all I know.
But it matters to this one, I’ll return it to the sea.
It matters to this one, and it matters to me.”
In a lot of ways, things look bleak. Tyranny, degeneracy, and injustice are now the norm in our nation, and everything seems to be tracking in the wrong direction. There is faint hope of recapturing our deteriorating institutions. But what can any of us do about it? Some hold signs of protest in front of government buildings. Others complain about hypocrisy and unfairness on social media. Though there is no obvious resistance leader in sight, some people consume "hopium," waiting for the return of Donald Trump or some other savior to put the nation back to right. Others crave revolution, but that is dangerous, uncertain and does not seem to be imminent. So is there anything ordinary people can do about our dismal state of affairs, other than wait for doom or pray for rescue?
You can't turn around the Titanic and save the whole nation, that is true. But there are things you can do - realistic, simple, and practical things, that will make a difference within your sphere of influence. Here are a few ideas (and thank you to the Gab community for contributing to this list). Many of these suggestions are low effort and have secondary benefits of improving your health and well-being or saving you money.
1 - Spend your money wisely.
Here's a no-brainer: Stop supporting people who hate you and aggressively propagandize against everything you care about. Resolve to stop supporting Hollywood. Cut off your cable. It may take some adjustment, but there are an infinite number of better ways to spend your time than passively absorbing toxic forms of entertainment.
Support locally owned businesses that share your values. If you know of a worthwhile business or service, make a point to tell others about it in person and online. Small shops cannot compete with the advertising budget of big corporations and they rely on word of mouth to grow their business. Ask your neighbors for more ideas. Conversely, tell businesses that support degeneracy and tyranny why you won't be patronizing them any more.
Buy second-hand goods from thrift stores. This has multiple benefits. You are denying profits to chain stores that sell foreign goods and push a godless agenda. Reusing old items is an exercise of good stewardship that cuts out waste. It will also likely save you money. (In fact, you might even be able to make money. I have an acquaintance who supplements her income by cleaning up thrift-store goods and reselling them on Ebay.)
Stop using credit cards and big banks. Make a plan to eliminate debt and move your money to a credit union. As cash depreciates, think about buying goods that will retain value or spending now to build a store of supplies that may increase in cost, such as housewares, dry goods, clothing, medical and emergency supplies.
2 - Think local.
Washington DC is an atrocity beyond repair, but, depending on your locality, you may be able to make noticeable a difference in your own back yard.
Attend city and county council meetings. Pay attention to what is going on and speak your mind when appropriate. Get to know your local representatives and government leaders.
If your kids are in public school, get involved there. Go to school board meetings, and get to know your principals, teachers, and the school curriculum. Ally with other parents.
No kids in school? Maybe you can offer something for local school kids anyways. Think of starting or assisting with something like a School Time Bible ministry or voluntary after-school program - it could be for academics, sports, or some kind of special interest. Obviously possibilities will differ depending on where you live.
Get to know your sheriff and local law enforcement officers. As things get more precarious at a national level, their role will be more important than ever. If they are worthy of your support, get involved with their charitable or community outreach efforts.
Figure out which of your local charities are doing good work, particularly for groups (like Whites, for example) that may be last on the list or even excluded from government or corporate charities. Ask how you can help. They may require simple tasks or materials which can be fulfilled with minimal time and effort.
3 - Watch what you eat.
This goes beyond superficial concerns about appearance. Being as mentally and physically healthy as possible makes you better able to serve your family and community. Stop eating fast food and processed food. Buy locally produced foods. Grow a vegetable garden and involve your children. Make and use a composter. Consider joining a vegetable co-op or starting a community garden.
4 - Grow your community.
Many of us do not know our neighbors beyond the occasional perfunctory wave "hello" when checking mail. Change that! Organize a block party or beautification project for your street. Check on the elderly folks and let them know you are available if they need help with anything. Attend neighborhood watch meetings. It can be awkward to re-introduce yourself to people whose names you may have forgotten, but building bridges is a worthwhile effort.
Join groups where you can network with like-minded people and work to support one another. Having friendly, supportive relationships is both personally rewarding and a smart way to develop alliances for when times get hard.
Conversely, re-examine your current associations. Are you spending time, money, and energy on groups and people who do not support you in return, or who are not in line with your goals and beliefs? In some ways these familiar associations are comfortable, but they may not be what is best for you. Consider whether you should focus your time and resources elsewhere.
Pay special attention to young people. Remember, they have never known what those of Generation X and older knew as traditional America, and have been led to believe it was always hellscape of evil and oppression for everyone except White men. They have spent their entire lives essentially being gaslit from all sides - entertainment, education, government, and in many cases their parents. The "mindset list" is issued each year to give educators an idea of the perspective of the rising college freshmen they are teaching. The 2022 mindset list states, "When filling out forms, they are not surprised to find more than two gender categories to choose from."
It is hard to overstate the degree to which young people today are marinating in a barbaric and toxic Alice-in-Wonderland world. I recently learned that a young man at my church was beaten so badly as to require hospitalization by some classmates who were under the mistaken impression that he had used a racial slur. Another young woman watched a friend get pushed down a flight of stairs after she unwittingly "misgendered" a fellow student. In both cases, school administrators did nothing to oppose the perpetrators - and these incidents took place in a suburban area of a red state. I will say it again: Many, many young people are in desperate need of love, support, and sensible guidance. Think of how you might help them.
Luckily the young people I mentioned have good families, but so many do not. Those growing up in this environment may have an unspoken suspicion that things are not as they should be, but be unable to fully understand and articulate what is wrong. If their parents are absent or have succumbed to communist propaganda, there may be no one in their world providing an oppositional perspective. One need not reach out to them with an aggressive counter-propaganda campaign. Even a simple statement like, "You kids have it rough. It wasn't like this when I was in high school," will convey that you care, and give credence to their inner sense that it's the world that's out of whack, not them.
5 - Be a flamekeeper.
It will take effort to preserve traditions, knowledge and skills in this age of internet searches and disposable conveniences. What can you do?
Set a goal to learn a skill. Learn to play an instrument. Learn a new language. Master a traditional handcraft like woodworking or quilting. Think of skills that might be of use in case of a medical emergency or loss of infrastructure. Consider what your great-great-grandparents did for themselves: Build furniture, make clothing, preserve food for winter, purify water. Learn how to do some of those things.
Challenge your kids to develop skills that don't involve electronics. Teach them simple skills that would be needed if the internet went away, like how to read a paper map or use reference books.
Speaking of books, start collecting them. Make an effort to establish a personal hard-copy library of reference books, classic literature, accurate history books, and anything else that the ruling elites might want to edit or purge.
Collect traditional board games or hobby items. People once entertained themselves without TV and the internet, and they may one day need to do so again.
6 - Watch what you say.
This is one of the most simple suggestions, but also may require the most bravery. One leftist strength is their normalization of language that promotes their ideas in thought and discourse. Even conservative speakers are often quick to adopt words and phrases that implicitly accept leftist framing of issues, like "undocumented immigrants," "homosexual marriage," "transgender," and so forth. Make a conscious effort to stop doing that, and to instead use language that creates a different framing.
For example, there is a burgeoning awareness among the general public of the elites' opposition to the interests of White people. A simple but powerful thing you can do to help change the way people think is to change the way you speak. The phrase "anti-White" has moved from the pages of dissident right websites into the edges of the public sphere where it is occasionally uttered by the likes of Tucker Carlson and Ron DeSantis. Keep using it whenever possible.
In fact, using phrases like "White people," or "White community," even in an innocuous way, may help deracinated people to start thinking of themselves as part of a group, and awareness is the first step towards creating a meaningful movement against those who oppose us. "Anti-Christian" is another term we could be using more often to bring focus to the purpose of the progressive agenda. And try substituting "communist race ideology" for Critical Race Theory. That is, in fact, a more precise description of what it is. There are endless possibilities. Take notice of any PC conditioning you might have absorbed into your vocabulary, and make a conscious effort to change it.
I hope at least some of these suggestions are useful. If you have more ideas, please share them in the comments.
The Carolina Contrarian, Anne Wilson Smith, is the author of Charlottesville Untold: Inside Unite the Right and Robert E. Lee: A History Book for Kids. She is the creator of Reckonin' and has contributed to the Abbeville Institute website and Vdare. She is a soft-spoken Southern belle by day, opinionated writer by night. She loves Jesus, her family, and her hometown. She enjoys floral dresses and acoustic guitar music. You may contact Carolina Contrarian at CarolinaContrarian@protonmail.com.