Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Only So Much

Typically, I try to talk about anything BUT relevant current events on this blog.

That doesn't mean I'm not paying attention.. I very actively follow world news and try to read stories from as many different sources as possible to get the most information I can. I try hard not to come to any conclusions until I feel like I fully understand the full scope of a story, which is very, very difficult to do and sometimes results on confused indecision on my part on a lot of issues. I don't see this as a sign of weakness either... "The man who thinks he knows anything," said Socrates, "proves himself the fool."

But for the last couple of days, I've been a little depressed. Why?

1) 35,000 people are dead due to the earthquake in northern Pakistan, with some estimates saying that another 10-20,000 may die before it is all over. 2.5 million people are now homeless there. To top it off, heavy rain and hail storms are making it difficult for relief efforts there. Oh yeah, and for the final kick in the teeth... winter starts in a few weeks.

2) Up to 50 people so far have been killed in Iraq in a campaign of protest bombings against the newly drafted constitution.

3) Saturday night, a guy got the tar kicked out of him by New Orleans police offers... all caught on videotape. Also disheartening was the following from one of the officers who pushed an AP producer and pinned him against a car (also on tape along with copious amounts of profanity): "I've been here for six weeks trying to keep myself alive... Go home."

I understand indifference. Really, I do. It's so much easier to go through life not worrying about anyone but yourself and your own loved ones. It's so much easier to think you've got everything figured out, which leads to the type of tunnel vision necessary to not care about any of this stuff. It's so much easier to turn your eyes to the heavens and insist that this is all part of some abstraction's divine plan, and there's nothing you or I can do about it.

I understand it. I just can't do it... and I can't agree with it.

And in the end, what am I really doing to help? I can talk about it, think about it, blog about it... but none of that is going to help any of those people. I can donate money, and I do, but what I can offer is a drop in the bucket compared to what's needed.


I'll talk about something completely unrelated next time. I promise.

1 comment:

karri said...

What any individual has to offer is a drop in the bucket compared to what's needed. But if everybody contributes a drop, just imagine the ocean that could be created!

When Katrina hit down here on the Gulf, we didn't have money to contribute. We had some extra clothing that was in good shape, so we gave it to the local Goodwill, who we knew was distributing clothing to the evacuees who had fled to our area. And I had the physical ability and the time to volunteer at the shelter our local Red Cross chapter had opened, so I did.

I would have loved to have been able to do more, as everybody else around here would have; but you know what? That shelter closed within two weeks, because everybody stepped forward and did what they could. As a result of all of those individual drops in the bucket, every last one of the evacuees (several thousand families in our county alone) had a place to stay, clean clothing, toiletries, food... even school supplies for their children when they were enrolled in our local schools.

Don't feel bad that you can't solve the problems of the world single-handedly. It takes many hands, performing many tasks (everything from making monetary contributions to petitioning the government to step in), all with a common goal to fix some of these big problems.

Big hugs!!