Trying to Make the World a Better Place

“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility.

It’s easy to say, ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’

Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”

-Mr. Rogers


I have been feeling fragile lately, as if the world itself is weighing on me.  While I had an amazing 2013 filled with adventure and love, many of my friends did not fare as well.  I feel like I knew more people to who lost loved ones this past year than in any year in my life to date.  Perhaps it’s just part of getting older.

Lately though, it seems there is more and more bad news everywhere I turn.  As much as I try to focus on the positive and avoid negativity, good news seems to be in far fewer supply these days.  I keep thinking at some point someone is going to have to catch a break, and then another call or post to the contrary happens.  Just in the past week I woke up to texts that my best friend’s husband (also a friend) was in the hospital and needed surgery.  Later that day my two bulldogs got into a fight so intense that one passed out (I thought she dropped dead and totally freaked out)… which lead to the excruciatingly painful decision that the younger one needs to be re-homed.  The whole situation is a long story, but suffice it to say it has been a long time coming, and we have tried everything to improve the situation including working with a trainer.

Already reeling from the heartbreak of losing one of my fur children, I found out today that a friend of mine who already lost her mother to lung cancer around Thanksgiving and then her father suddenly a few weeks later near Christmas has now lost her sister unexpectedly.  This latest development has had my head just spinning.  I just can’t reconcile having faith that no one is dealt more than she can handle with the fact that this girl has just lost three members of her family in less than 3 months.  No one should have to deal with that.  I have had all I can stomach of loss just from everything my friends have been going through, and here she is having to pull herself through burying yet another close family member.  How can you not think life is out to get you at that point?

1555472_10151987446654807_983311388_nSo my friends and I brought our heads together to try and figure out the best way to show our support.  We not only wanted to help, but to remind this girl that we will be there for her.  We wanted to show her that there are parts in life worth living even in the face of unfathomable grief.  We wanted to show her our love for her.  What we came up with was a fundraising page through gofundme to help alleviate the financial burden of three funerals, medical bills, and lost wages from missing work.

When we were planning the page I was excited.  I was so happy to be able to do something to help.  However, the instant I posted it I had a pit in my stomach.  I am an introvert by nature.  If only there were a way to save the world anonymously...  I immediately worried that I would not be able to get people to rally they way I envisioned they would in my head.  I worried about failing…. and then I worried about what would happen if we were really successful.  I worried about what people would think of me and about whether they would have a problem with me stepping up to do something publicly when I’m not part of the family.  I was afraid of offending people.  Am I the only person who gets this conflicted over a simple fundraising page?

Really, the issue comes down to putting myself out there.  You can’t help other people while sitting on your butt in the safety of your comfort zone, not if you really want to make a difference.  Does putting myself out there and attaching my name to a fundraising page make me uncomfortable? Absolutely.  Do I think this girl is worth it? Absolutely.  At the end of the day, does it really matter whether I am super successful at it? Probably not.  To someone struggle with the loss of three family members, my success or failure with raising money is probably not even a blip on her radar.  What matters, I hope, is that her other friends and I cared enough to take a leap and make an effort.  In the end, I hope that at least the thought that went into it will mean something.

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