Fighting Apathy by Becoming a Helper
By flaursen on October 01, 2013
I feel so helpless against the many, many things that are going badly in this country and around the world. I get so depressed thinking about it, I end up shutting it all out, hence, my recent post “I Confess: I’m Prejudiced (and ashamed of it).”
A character in Barbara Kingsolver’s book “Flight Behavior” described what I was doing, which I call “willful ignorance”:
“I think people are scared to face up to a bad outcome. That’s just human. Like not going to the doctor when you’ve found a lump. If fight or flight is the choice, it’s way easier to fly.”
I’ve decided to stop taking the easy way out. Instead of feeling paralyzed about all the people I can’t help, I’m focusing on the few that I can.
I created a “Help Those in Need” page. I’ve personally donated to Feeding America, and I’ve been a lender on Kiva.org for a few years. I’d been lending primarily abroad, but I’ve started loaning domestically as well. I’ve signed up to prepare and serve a meal to homeless people in a few weeks. I intend to volunteer once every month (in addition to the volunteering I already do at church and at my son’s school). I’m considering doing a Spotlight post every month that highlights organizations that serve those in need.
What local, national, or international organizations do you support and recommend?