On saving the world...

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

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I made a small donation today to a family fund for a boy in a really bad situation. I haven't done anything like that in years - actually, since 9/11. Okay so, I've bought a few bracelets for 'make poverty history' and given to some disaster relief funds, but I don't really do much else and I don't know why.
I'm one of those people that cries watching the news. My husband has actually filtered some of it for me at times. If he knows they will show something that will greatly upset me, he'll quickly change the channel or if he hears a story on the radio that maybe I haven't heard yet, he'll ask, 'Did you watch the news today?' if I say no, then he'll make sure we skip the evening news that night. I always ask - Why? What happened? But I don't push too hard knowing he's a pretty good judge of these things. This doesnt happen often mind you - I'm not a complete emotional mess that has to be shielded from every bad thing that happens (I can only think of Wayne doing this about 3 times throughout our relationship), but there are some stories that really get to me.
In the UK the RSPCA (ASPCA in the US) has a huge ad campaign in mailings and on TV. I have been known to tear up watching these and the child abuse ads do it to me as well. Just the other day, I opened a letter out of a magazine ad that on the outside read, 'help me' in a child's hand writing and Wayne ripped it from my hand saying - 'Why on earth would you open this?' knowing full well it would get to me. Children and animals get to me more than any others.
There's magazine called 'The big issue' that's sold here. It's put out by an organization that helps the homeless by as they put it - 'Putting out a news & current affairs magazine written by professional journalists and sold on the streets by vendors looking to overcome the crises surrounding homelessness.' This is one of the regular charitable contributions Wayne makes. He always buys the magazine when ever we see someone selling it. Christmas time, Wayne bought the last one from a man and said to him 'Happy Christmas' The man replied, 'Not for me'. I wanted to give him every penny I had on me. Wayne nudged me along and said to me later 'You can't save the world.' and reminded me of the sad truth behind where my money could have ended up if I had given it to him.
I must admit there have been many times that I have passed on contributing to charities because I've thought 'The problem is too big - nothing I can do will make a difference.' This may be true in some cases, but it also makes me wonder why it is that more of us don't try. If we did, maybe a difference could be made. We may not be able to save the world, but maybe we can make a difference to one person's world if we just did a little more - a little more often.



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