Be the Helpers

Thursday, June 07, 2018

I don’t write as much as I would like to these days. A lot has changed in my life over the past year and a half, and while it’s full in the best of ways, it is also very busy.

I’ve also stepped back from writing because of the change in our country over the past year and half. You may have noticed that public discourse on social platforms has not been the most courteous as of late. To be honest, it’s just plain discouraging and I haven’t really wanted to be a part of it. After the election last year, I was depressed. I was in shock. I was angry. I don’t think I could have expressed myself well, most certainly not civilly or kindly. So I was quiet. Silent.

But silence doesn't change anything. And in some cases, I think it can actually hurt.

Sometimes when I read the latest headlines, I feel overwhelmed by the terrible things that are being allowed to happen in our country. It seems like every day there is something new to worry about. Most recently I read a news article regarding families being separated at the US border. Children being torn from their parent's arms.

It struck a chord deep in me. I love my family fiercely. Family has always been vital to who I am. I would do anything for them. I cannot fathom the terror and despair these families must be going through, not knowing where their children are and what will happen to them. These are children, not tools of manipulation, and this is incomprehensibly cruel. Reading the stories just made me want to cry.

But then a different story caught my eye. An author and activist I follow, Glennon Doyle, saw the same terrible news that I did, and she didn't just cry. She did something. Her non-profit, Together Rising, created a fundraiser to provide these families with legal aid and support. They raised over $1 million in less than a day. Less than a day, you guys. Can you imagine? It just goes to show that even when it seems impossible, we can affect change. We can make a difference.

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.
- Vincent Van Gogh

On her blog, Momastery, Glennon also set out a series of steps for people to follow to let their lawmakers know that this new practice of separating families is not acceptable and they need to step up and do something. I highly encourage you to read the information and do what you can to help. If we don't like the world we see around us, it is up to us to change it. One small donation, call, and step at a time and we can set our course back in the right direction.

And this, I think, is the exact response that is needed. The one positive aspect of the moral failure of our political leaders, is that it forces us as individual citizens to take action. Which is truly the greatest aspect of democracy. When we see injustice, we cannot just stand by. Our silence is louder than we imagine. Our inaction is in fact, an action.

Mr. Rogers said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”

If there is no one helping, then all our children will see is hatred and scary things. That is not the legacy I want to leave to future generations. I want them to see us helping. And not just helping some of them; helping all of them. We can step up and instead of just reading the news in despair, we can  make the good news we wish we were reading about instead.

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