"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." A.A. Milne

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What I Can Do

The stories from Oklahoma are rolling in each minute. The tragedy and heart break is just stunning in their horror.

I am not reading a single one.

That is right. I am not. I am not reading, watching, listening, or in anyone absorbing as much as possible. It is not that I don't care. I care so deeply about such things it can be crippling. I will not allow myself to completely shut down. My children need me.

This is my common modus operandi. I avoid things concerning child abuse, the sex trade, animal abuse, and in general just people acting horribly to one another. Also, natural disasters are on that do not pay attention list.

These things cause me such pain I can feel it physically. I find the weight of the horror to be too much to bear. I will slowly start shutting down and detaching from reality in self preservation. I will cut off the world in order to make the pain go away. I am of no use to my children, my husband, my friends, or my community in  that shape. I am pretty much useless. So ultimately, there isn't a point.

But there are so many things I can do. I can look to what needs to be done right here in my world. I can donate to animal shelters. I can give food to local food shelters. I can organize a drive to gather self care toiletry bags for the homeless. I can run through a drive through to pick up a lunch for that man standing on the street corner with such desperation and humiliation. I can deeply listen to someone grieving. I can be a shoulder to cry on or a shopping service for a new mother. As the children grow older, I hope to do more and more to help those around.

I cannot change all of the terrible things happening in the world. It is not within my power. But what I can do, what you can do, is live a life each day practicing as much compassion, love, kindness, gentleness, and charity as possible.

Perhaps my actions will start a chain reaction that will someday change the world.

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