Open up a newspaper or magazine. Turn on the radio or the television. You will be bombarded by wars, earthquakes, tsunamis, famine, political unrest, floods and pestilence. Some days, the amount of bad news is almost overwhelming.
You can close what you're reading. Turn off the television or computer. Shut out the cacophony of voices proclaiming all the bad in the world, and just pretend it isn't so. I believe we all do this from time to time, just to allow ourselves a momentary peace. We know that all the bad is still there; but, for just a few minutes, we don't have to think about it.
Yet, it is still there. And what can we do?
We tithe at church, confident that our gifts will go to help feed, clothe and heal. We also raise up our prayers of protection, salvation and rescue, knowing that He will provide solace and care.
When we get home, we sort through the many requests for donations, making our own inventory of despair and grief, and allot what we can to the various causes that tug at our heart or catch our attention. We hope that, by writing our checks, our small contribution will help to make a difference when joined with gifts from many others.
We write letters to elected officials. We tell them the things that concern us the most, and that we wish for them to focus upon when making their plans. Our intent is to help formulate future policy by keeping an issue or a people in the forefront of discussions.
So many ways of helping, but still not as personal as many others have pursued.
For many people, direct involvement in their causes or concerns are the only way for them to feel they are making a difference. Doctors Without Borders travel the world, donating their time and skill to relieve suffering. Peace Corps workers live with the poor, teaching them new skills that will last for generations. Global action, taken on when staying at home is no longer an option.
But, what of those that take meals to people who can not cook for themselves. Others who read to the blind, or to children, so that the gift of learning will not be hindered by disability or age. We have people in our own community doing these things every day.
The County recently issued a proclamation in recognition of the many volunteers that make life better for Mason County residents. Those volunteers staff the museums, pick up mail, mow yards and more, not for recognition; but, because they can. They give up parts of their own day to insure that others have a better day. There are no cameras, no adoring crowds, no recognition. Sometimes, there is opposition to the volunteer, even from the ones they are trying to help. But, they continue on in their quest to be of service.
The Lions Club, Riata, Bluebonnet Study Club, Alpha Beta Psi, Bluebonnet CASA, Habitat for Humanity, Mason County Cancer Benefit, Critter Getters,,,,, the list in Mason County of volunteers goes on and on. The list of those who are helped is just as long.
There are still many that complain about the many problems of the world. They complain about how nothing is being done, and they complain that those that are helping are not doing enough. They complain and complain; but, they seem to be good only at addressing the problems by name, not identifying solutions or offering a hand.
It would seem to me that people who are willing to see the problems, and who are able to identify everyone who is involved; but, who do no actual good to solve those problems is in fact, a part of the problem. Often, it is difficult to get any real work done or to address any ills when the criticisms coming from these same people do nothing but cloud the issue.
It's time we start stepping outside our complacency and our superiority and realizing that until we do SOMETHING, we may as well be doing NOTHING. Though for some, doing nothing might be a great improvement.
It’s all just my opinion.