We need helpers today.
People who can pay it forward and have an extra 10 minutes of patience with their kids, to show them a little bit extra. I can’t say for sure why I feel like this is important today.
Like you, I take a small look at the news and immediately throw my hands in the air. (In the not-at-a-club-dancing sort of way.) It is discouraging to see so much bad. Conditions getting worse in already war-torn nations, I am heavy hearted with the kids who have known nothing but conflict.
Especially those kids who feel lonely and feel the need to act out in violent ways, often times to their own bodies. Loneliness brings us to do a lot of things, just to feel or be touched. After all, if we’re looking to change the world, we better start with the kids. They keep watching us screw things up and we haven’t yet told them that they will be in charge of our messes. Our debts. Our ever-changing climate and our exhaustive food methods.
I guess I see so much hope in the human race at times. I know we want to help. I know we want to be good.
I reckon’ there is something to be said about “I get mine first and then we’ll talk about your needs.” This is something I struggle with. Especially lately as my needs have outgrown the needs of others. I shrug my head and say sorry.
I am coming back to this place that I have left for a while.
Mostly because I can only indulge myself for so long before I start to realize the need of people to be bigger and stronger and braver than ever before.
We are suckers for hero movies because they are willing to die for us. Yet we are not necessarily ready to die for our neighbors. And I’m not saying I am, either.
I suppose when things hit the fan, we are in shock. But there is a saying to “look for the helpers” — those people who are there picking up folks off the ground and sticking their fingers into main arteries to stop the bleeding.
We are all exhausted this time of year. The weather can be dreary, we are cold to our bones and the bad guys are still going to be bad. They are still going to leave you with a great weight on your shoulders. They will care about themselves and take and take and take.
I realize we do what we can to absorb some pain, and give it some space. It is how we digest most things, given that we have the time to do so.
Take it bit by bit.
Hold some pressure on a wound.
I am reading a book by Anne Lamott called “Stitches” — not only is she one of my favorite writers, but her latest book focuses on pain and taking it all in ‘stitch by stitch’. Quoting C.S. Lewis on forgiveness, it is best if we start with something easier than the Gestapo.
She drops another beautiful line, quoting an influential spiritual mentor as saying, “We’re all just trying to walk each other home..”
I just love that.
There is too much pain here. As she says.
But there is so much goodness too.
And I am not saying anything new, by any means.
Today though, I want to be better than I have to be. I’ll try doing it again tomorrow. Instead of saying something shitty behind another person’s back, I will build something a little stronger. If not with them, then with myself.
Peace starts slow, and builds upon itself even slower. We have to move this way. For the sake our future, and the future of the ones smaller, and more precious than we will ever be again.
Let us move.
bit by bit.