Who Do You Care About?

caringAwhile ago, I was associated with a person who said she could not care about the troubles of other people in the world as it does not affect her daily life. This was in response to a portion of a play I wrote about my father, who was a survivor of Auschiwitz. I wrote about other cultures that have experienced or are still experiencing genocide and mass hatred in this section (which, I got back from a few, was too “preachy”).

Her words astounded me, and try as I could to explain how I felt and why I felt the way I did, she was only concerned with her own here and now. It was one of the reasons our association ended.

I just saw a series of videos for a science class about Island lives, in various parts of the world, where the rising waters, melting ice caps, and loss of land are destroying their native lands. One group has been told that their island will be submerged in less than ten years. A series of small islands were actually one large island less than twenty years ago. The sea water is bubbling up over and under the land, destroying crops, leaving the few families left to wait…sometimes up to three months…for surplus food to support them. Mainly rice.

According to the journalist, no one from any scientific community has visited or offered any support.

So…Who do YOU care about?

In the midst of my going through my own worries and concerns, the plight of these people hit me, and hit me hard. Can I take on the weight of the world when I have my own troubles? It depressed me to see what they are going through. My own problems cast a heavy weight of their own, and I want to offer…

offer what? Prayers? Yes, I can do that.

Information? Yes, I can do that too, but writing this, hoping to make someone else aware of the plight of others…I’m not sure what is enough, what burdens we need to carry, what prayers we need to send, what good can we do.

I told the woman I was associated with that if ONE person can alter their thinking, maybe cause one person to take an action (or decide not to do a negative action), that would be better than not doing anything at all. It could all just be blowing in the wind. I don’t know.

I’m sending out silent thoughts of prayers and wishes for those people, as I also pray for myself, to end whatever suffering is going on. I hope it is enough.


About StuHN

I am a creative individual with many areas of passion: Professional Storyteller; NYS Certified Drama Specialist/Educator; Professional Development Coordinator & Facilitator; Workshop Leader; sometime Puppeteer; Playwright; Director; Performer; Teaching Artist; and sometimes more.

Posted on November 28, 2012, in Caring, Family, Fear, Friends, Grief, Healing, Inspiration, Love, Meditations, Mindfulness, Prayers, Support and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I empathize with the feeling Stu. I know after Sandy, I have been feeling overwhelmed with how much there is to do and how I constantly feel inadequate to the task. I feel guilty that I don’t do more, then I question my ability to DO more and still be effective where I am trying to create change. I think those of us doing social work through arts can only tackle what we can handle. Is it enough? I don’t know. Is it better than nothing? Definitely.

  2. It seems more and more people are becoming cold-hearted as a way of insulating themselves from the suffering in the world. The world has always suffered, we just didn’t know so much about it. Modern media delights in parading the suffering of others before us. There are things we can do. And we should do what we can – even if it’s just one voice crying out to bring attention. But we cannot do everything for everyone. Trying to help the whole world all at once results in defeat and frustration.

    My pet project is hunger. While I cannot feed all the hungry around the world, I do all I can to help, starting with those in my area. I give what money I can to a local food pantry to buy supplies. I am now involved in a non-perishable foods drive for a local community center that cares for the poor. Marie and I spent thanksgiving day – along with several dozen others – volunteering at the local Senior Center as we cooked, served and delivered 175 meals to Seniors who would otherwise have sat at home, alone and hungry on Thanksgiving. We’ve done this for 3 years straight; it is our new Thanksgiving tradition. We do it not because we’re wonderful people, but because we get so much more out of this than we would preparing a table-busting feast for ourselves knowing so many others have so little.

    When you feel overwhelmed by all the need you see, remember: what you cannot do for all, do for one. You may not be able to change the world, but you CAN improve one persons life.

    • All good advice, Uber. Yeah, I believe in the doing what you can: trying to “save the world” is just impossible. I just wish more would care, year round. Glad you are doing what you can.

  3. It sometimes becomes so overwhelming to care about the world. I feel like that often, and then I beat myself up for not being able to do enough, give enough, be enough–or for feeling bad about my own personal worries. But I write. I teach, I pray. I spread the word and challenge people to think about the world outside of their tiny bubbles, and I have to hope that is helping in some small way. Otherwise it will become too overwhelming and I will drown.

  4. I can’t add anything except that even those who feel that they have nothing to give do have something, even if it’s helping someone carry bags, donating food or clothes, giving an elderly person your seat, etc. And, of course, we can all use social media to spread the word about who, and how, to help. That doesn’t cost anything!

  5. Oh, this hits a resonant cord. I think caring for others were ingrained into me- whether I was born with a tendency or not, being brainwashed each and every day of one’s life that the world is a narrow bridge, no man is an island (OK, i should have capitalized that to make it politically correct- NOT), etc.
    It’s why i have been politically active (Richard Nixon had a completely different term for that) since an early age. Registering folks to vote. Dragging people to the polls. Getting folks to take a stand against …. and a stand for even more….
    And, I’m pleased to say that I have managed to transfer this craziness to my kids. May all the world do so, as well.
    It would be a much better place, indeed!

  6. This is a good question, Stuart…we cannot change the world, as much as we would like to. I therefore like to try to make little changes, one step at a time.
    It can be about changing perceptions or supporting a project that I believe in. I hope that, step by step, things will improve.
    That said, some people are so self-centred that they don’t care about anything else than themselves. For them, I have come to the conclusion that nothing can be done!

  7. Your one action, prayer, your comments and writings offer hope to more people than you know. You’r always in my prayers. Jill

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