There is a time for cleverness, for witty puns, for employing your best grammar and showing the world the breadth of your vocabulary. Now is not that time. When you are about to see an elderly woman step in front of a car, or a kid get punched by a bully on the playground, it’s not the time for rhetoric. It’s time to yell “STOP!” as quickly and loudly as you can. So the prevailing theme of this post – and this blog – is how pissed off I am and I don’t care how many run on sentences I have to subject you to or infinitives I have to split to freaking show it.
Right now – August 2012 – we are in the middle of a national campaign for the upcoming general election, which means that every major issue is an opportunity for not just the politicians to take sides, but for the masses to use every platform available to show what side they’re on as well. Today, it’s Chick-fil-a. Yesterday it was Oreos, or the Aurora movie shooting. Tomorrow it will be Cup-o-noodles or Hanes underwear or an anthrax scare at a Denny’s. Who knows? All I know is that I – me, myself, and I – am pissed off and tired of feeling helpless.
I spend a lot of time feeling helpless, crushed by that colossal burden of being aware of all the shit that’s wrong but not loud enough, or wealthy enough to do anything. And honestly, that’s probably true – I’m not loud or wealthy enough.
SIDE BAR: My husband teases me about my closet – I am an organizer by trade – but my clothing storage is something we lovingly refer to as a “floordrobe.” I get so overwhelmed on laundry day by the mountain of clean clothing that, instead of putting it away, I simply pick my outfits directly from the clean laundry basket. They never make it onto hangers or folded neatly in the dresser. And when I start to think about tackling that project, I break out into a cold sweat. But every once in a great while I can’t take it anymore, and I just grab a shirt and put it on a hanger. And whatever article of clothing I unearth from that top shirt, I usually put that away as well. And then I’ll notice a small pile of socks, which I’ll grab by the handful and put them away, too.
What’s my point? Sometimes when I am so overwhelmed by the scope of a problem (i.e. my closet), I just have to DO SOMETHING. Even if it’s just tackle one small item, like hanging up a shirt. So that’s what I’m doing. Every week, starting TODAY, I am going to donate $5 to a non-profit that’s doing something I think needs to be done. Is $5 a lot of money? Nope. Is $5 more than they had before I decided to donate it? Yes.
So I’m pledging $260 this year to feel a little less helpless. I’m hoping my $5 a week donation will offset 52 of those idiots who bought a combo meal at Chick-fil-A yesterday to prove how morally upstanding they are, instead of giving $5 to their church to help feed the poor. Or 52 people who spent $5 last week in a Walmart, slowly bankrupting their local economy instead of supporting a small business. Or 52 people who spent $5 last week to buy their obese children some soda and cookies instead of supporting local farmers. And $5 a week will serve as a reminder to me to be more patient, more generous, less angry, more active, and – when I’ve spent my $5 each week – maybe I’ll go into my bedroom and put away some laundry. Because change starts at home.