Fighting Apathy by Becoming a Helper

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?

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3 thoughts on “Fighting Apathy by Becoming a Helper

  1. ks October 1, 2013 at 1:02 pm Reply

    We just pick up litter on our block and sweep up in the little corner park next door. No childcare needed. I donate her out-grown clothes to daycare so they can either use them there or let another family take them home. Honestly, it is hard to find someone who actually needs the hand-me downs!

  2. Help for the helper | Mirrorgirl October 2, 2013 at 11:58 am Reply

    […] Fighting Apathy by becoming a Helper (pretendyouregoodatit.com) […]

  3. smallftprints October 5, 2013 at 8:37 am Reply

    I really like the idea of finding someone we CAN help … it does make us feel empowered. It’s also good to remember that helping doesn’t necessarily mean giving money or stuff … it can be helping someone by holding a door or carrying bags when they are obviously struggling … it can even be a kind comment. Once we start looking, there are all kinds of opportunities to help others … and it feels good! Thank you for a very inspiring post!

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