A Facebook friend of mine posted that he had a friend who was looking for someone who was good with a camera that could go to Haiti for a week or two soon (probably for a documentary since he's in the film industry) and I caught myself thinking, "Wow, that would be a dream come true."
Then I realized that if you automatically think leaving home to go to the scariest and most dangerous place in the whole wide world right now would be a dream come true you A.) probably desperately need a vacation B.) have seriously lowered your standards when it comes to the idea of a "dream come true." Damn. I'm laughing about it now but it was a startling realization.
I think it also came up because I have been feeling a little hopeless about the world lately. I halfway did it to myself, subjecting myself to too much Haiti news and reading "What is the What" by Dave Eggers about the Lost Boys in Sudan and then watching an 8 part documentary about the cannibalism, war, human waste and child soldiers in Liberia all in the course of a week or so. So yeah, that was probably a little much for my bleeding heart and I keep going back and forth between "what can I do?" and "Look at that mess, there is nothing I can do."
Sometimes I think we were all better off before the days of global communication because life would be much easier if I could focus on the small community around me, without the distractions of the rest of the world's problems. Yeah, it's a selfish viewpoint I guess but as individuals we could probably manage to take care of most of those within the "monkey sphere" of our community if it was a more manageable number of people we felt responsible for or aware of. It feels so overwhelming that so much of the world is hurting so badly right now.
And let's not even get me started on American politics. I vote to draw a line down the middle of the country, everyone choose their side, new governments made up of normal people with no political backgrounds and let's just see what happens. I think the producers of Survivor could do a better job finding candidates to run our country at this point. Many current politicans are crazy, most of them are pussies, too many of them are corrupt; it's a 3 ring circus of wrongness.
Anyhoo, this wasn't supposed to turn into a heavy rant. And don't worry, I'll stop calculating how many black orphans would fit in my playroom and consider more practical ways to help.
(But a Brangelina-like tribe of orphans would make for an endless supply of blogging material...)
"Sometimes I think we were all better off before the days of global communication because life would be much easier if I could focus on the small community around me, without the distractions of the rest of the world's problems"
You're definitely not the only person to say or think this, and there's a large amount of truth to be found in the idea. We tend to get so wrapped up in other people's lives (through the news, TV shows, tabloids, magazines, blogs, whathaveyou) that we lose focus on our own. But it is the world we live in today, so what is a confused and traumatized person to do? That's the $64,000 question, ain't it?
I feel your pain, sister. I don't know what to do, but I certainly feel like a failure by not doing anything. Then it all becomes overwhelming because you know you can't fix everything. Hell, I can't even adopt a homeless cat or dog, much less a homeless Haitian. Who has the answers? Not me.
Ashley, sweetie, you need like a seriousness intervention. Go watch Sixteen Candles or something equally mind numbing.
And I think in the days before global communication when we all watched out for own communities the world WAS a better place. I think people should tend to their own backyards first, and then help out the neighbors... so to speak.
Jennifer, I agree! My next book definitely needs to be something borderline brainless and I've already banned myself from the news photography sites I like. That was just a trifecta of awfulness (although all fascinating).
Maybe I need more American Idol in my life...
I'd love to go back to Haiti and help out... but right now, I'd just be in the way. :-P You can bet that if I had any medical training whatsoever, I'd be looking for a relief organization to hook up with. It drives me crazy that I can't do more.
What is the What is an amazing book. However, I can understand needing some brain candy after reading it. I recommend one of the Sweet Potato Queen books. They're fun!
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