Kecks in Paradise

Kecks in Paradise

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

We can't do everything, but we can do something!

Recently, I have been pretty spotty at checking my social media. I found its imagined virtues to be having the opposite effect on me: this will help you connect! Facebook said, but I found myself feeling lonely or jealous or keenly aware of the lives of people I don’t know all that well in person. Keep up to date with what is important! it said, and yet I found myself mesmerized by those videos of food being prepared. Food that I will never make!! I’m gluten intolerant, yo! You know how it goes, every now and then, you just need to take a breather from that stuff, and I never really learned how to factor social media into my life, so I mostly cut it out, and I didn’t miss it.

But then Paris was attacked, and I wanted to see what people were saying, so I logged back in and I was moved by people's posts and the French flags over profile pictures and the love and support and solidarity. I had to wipe a tear or two from my eyes with those pictures of France on 9/11, and even that silly comic with the statue of liberty running to help its French counterpart. I loved seeing Eiffel towers and French expressions of love on people’s profiles.

And theeeeen, someone went and spit in my bean curd with their negativity. Oy vey, social media! A few people, actually, had posted things about how they were impressed with the people who stood with France, but what about Beirut, what about Kenya, what about, what about, what about all these places and things you should care about! 

Come on! I said inwardly. It is better that people do SOMETHING than nothing at all. Don’t fault people for trying! PLUS it is hard to CONSTANTLY feel for places that are CONSTANTLY in conflict. Paris is a place people dream about, whereas the Middle East is SO frequently in conflict, it seems like a nightmare.

Did that last part of that thought ring a little racist to anyone else?

Well, it did to me.

I didn’t like feeling that because some people have more problems they are somehow less worthy of my care and attention. I don’t like to be shamed into caring about things, but I did want to amend my attitude. And I felt a real stab of guilt that I didn’t know more about the Syrian refugee situation.

Fortunately for me, while I still may have a ways to go in deepening my Christ-like love for strangers, the refugee crisis was only a google away. It is CRAZY! There are masses and masses of homeless people right now with nothing who are being turned away from countries because of where they originated.
It made me want to do more!

I thought about going door to door for UNICEF or something, but I was thinking if someone knocked on my door for even the noblest of causes, I probably wouldn’t even have cash to give them. All our money’s on cards.

Instead, I was thinking about when my friends, the Smiths, did Whole30. I have been through my own dietary ups and downs, so I was really pulling for them as they cut out all grains and sugar from their diet for 30 days. I would check into their blog to get updates on how they were doing and feeling, and as the month wore on, I found myself eating more vegetables and less sugar just because I was thinking of them. It was sympathy broccoli. Or was it inception?

Just kidding, I know it’s only true inception if you don’t know about the inception. I’m not an idiot.

But I am a vegetable eater. Because the Smiths kept yammering on about their veggie tales, I was suddenly aware of every meal that went without a green thing.

So here I am, turning to social media after all my complaining, yammering on about how we should try to help each other generally, and the Syrian refugees specifically. As much as I have complained about Facebook and such in this post, I do think it can be a wonderful tool for bringing things like this to our friends' attention, and I am really thankful to you, my friends, who have helped to expand my worldview, even when it totally made my bean curd spitty. As the weather gets colder, and Christmas comes closer, opportunities to help are a dime a dozen, and I know you can't do everything, but let's do something! Together we can make the world a more beautifully harmonious place, and God will help us help others.

This blog is not popular. While I may fantasize that there are some cool British people going, “Oy, mate. Hold on a tic. I just want to read this fantastic weblog before we tuck in to our kippers and treacle tarts,” that is not the case (sidebar: British speak is the best). All of you who read it are my family and friends and maybe that one Nigerian prince who keeps emailing me. You are the most selfless and wonderful people I know and I know you are already doing so much to improve the lives of others. BUT I did want to tell you that I will be donating to support Syrian refugees, and I hope you will eat a little sympathy broccoli with me and donate support as well. We can’t do everything, but we can do something!

P.S. Here is a list of places to donate. LDS can also donate to humanitarian aid right on your tithing slips. Good luck and I love you.