How do we respond to disaster and tragedy?
Wringing our hands doesn’t help; neither does feeling badly about the blessings we enjoy while others are struggling to survive.
Few of us are in a position to hop on a plane to help with relief efforts, and we might hamper or complicate that relief if we tried, untrained as we are.
We can hold in our prayers – or our meditations or thoughts, if prayers is too loaded a word – all those who have been lost, or who have lost loved ones, pets, homes, precious keepsakes, the no-longer-coming spring flowers.
Sending money is a good thing – there are excellent, focused organizations out there doing real work. (Karen has a good list.)
Feeling helpless still sucks.
I am of the deeply held belief that we make the whole world a better place by making our corner of the world better. When we look around, we will see someone in need of compassion.
That sentence could go on, to point out the teenagers in need of someone to believe in them, the old-timers in need of a driver, the homeless ones in need of a blanket, the woman in a wheelchair in need of eye-contact, the blood bank in need of donors, the school play in need of an audience, the young mother at home in need of a kind word, the immigrant in need of patience while he finds the right word.
But they all come down to the same thing. When we look around, we will see someone in need of compassion.
It could be someone in your own house. Maybe even you.
Maybe especially you.
And I still want to do something to help over there.
Today, my way to help is to send a box of 30 pairs of individually-wrapped colourful socks for women and children.
And to replace that helpless feeling with compassion and gentleness in my heart.