Attention spans are short to say the least! I must admit that mine definitely is. We remember people and things, until we forget. And sometimes we forget that just because we have forgotten, does not mean that they have seized to be. Sensationalism sells! Any successful newspaper can tell you that, yet after the sensationalism has sizzled down the problems still remain.
Haiti is still Haiti – rubble, ruins and all; Hurricane Katrina’s shadow still looms large; Pakistan is still awash with sorrow even though the flood waters no longer occupy the news; and Darfur still suffers damnation.
Cultivating a culture of excellence is the only way to overcome our short memory spans. Internalizing the pain of others, and pushing ourselves when our adrenaline over issues has flat lined, will keep unfortunate circumstances in mind. There is something for everyone to do – everywhere! Donate old clothes and shoes, give a percentage of a paycheck, volunteer to tutor, teach, paint, or simply participate in the life of another.
Life happens every single day, and for some life is less than satisfactory. Often times I sink into a pit of self pity – tests coming up, lack of sleep, balance work and school – its easy to do. After all our worlds feel the biggest to us and small problems are magnified by the proximity to which they personally relate – but then I flip the grey pages of the newspaper open and the real doom and despair bleeds out of the black ink. There are simply bigger problems!
Poverty, sickness, deep-seated sadness, mental torment, physical disabilities, and the list goes on. It’s not enough to simply be thankful that that could have been us. It always could have been us, but most times it’s not. And just because it is not us, does not mean we do not have a responsibility to help where we can. Why do I think much more was given to me? Surely not to satisfy my handbag fetish and desire for pretty pumps, it must be much more.
Somewhere in my core I feel the cries of those less fortunate, and the older I get the more I promise myself that I will be less quick to forget. Less quick to forget that it coulda easily have been us, and one day it may be. – with a problem so big that existence is simply a chore.
A few days ago someone killed themselves in the Engineering building of my University. This person had recently lost their job, and I cannot speculate about the motivations or the depth of feelings coursing through this person’s veins, I can only say that the sorrow is not exclusive to that individual – (R)est (I)n (P)eace. There remains a sadness in the eyes of many, an anchor in the hearts of adjacent individuals, and the unwavering truth that we have been put here to aid one another.
Man is not an island. From an economic standpoint trade and interaction benefit everyone. Individuals have tasks at which they have absolute advantage and are thus most resourceful at performing that task. This truth is not exclusive to textbook examples of wheat and corn, it goes on. Some people are better at lending their comic relief, some their warm hugs, some their encouraging notes, and some their cash. Let all who can lend of themselves do so, for investing in a life and a smile is worth much much more than any less impactful more materialistic alternative.
Give, give, and give and what you receive shall be multiplied exponentially beyond your wildest dreams. The more I do, the better I feel. The more I see life for what it should be. Money, time, prayers, these are all invaluable additions to the lives of those who need them – and being a part of that cannot simply be quantified, for race, religion, colour or creed we all share the bond of being *mankind. Rewards shall surely be given – of that you may fear not.
So that when the lights dim and the cameras depart,
The fire in your heart shall ever burn bright,
And someone somewhere stumbling in the dark,
Shall find their way home, by following your light.
You shall be the map through the maze,
That was once their plight,
And once blind and burdened,
Now regained their own sight.
Their own passionate resolution to fight the good fight.