It feels weird to celebrate in a time where it feels so dark. Of course, it’s always been dark and there have always been injustices going on in the world but today it’s so much more in our faces with social media and as you grow and see more and learn more, you feel more. And so it feels very…..off, to be baking my daughter a birthday cake knowing in other parts of the world children are starving, children are in slavery, children are hiding in bomb shelters and fleeing their country. It feels weird doing this when I know so many parents right now are separated from their children. Parents and children alike are facing things I likely never will have to, things I cannot even begin to understand. My heart aches for them, my thoughts continuously go to them, and I feel ever so helpless. I have donated money, I have raised awareness, I have learned and tried to do better in my own country, I continue to do what I can from my little spot with my little dollars. I wish it could do more, I could do more, we could do more. Can’t we though, surely there is something I think to myself and outloud to my spouse and here.
All I can do though is notate that by staying in an unhappy place, shocked at the horrors of the world- it won’t help them. If grief, fear, empathy, and fury were currencies that racked up and solved any and all horrific and unjust problems in the world we would experience far less. Right? I hope so. Think so. And while I won’t stop feeling fury and anger or the fire that injustices tend to light a flame inside of me, I can acknowledge that while there is darkness there can be joy. Feelings can co-exist and often do. Of course anger and horror should be felt at the witnessing of truly disturbing events and of course joy comes watching your child blow out a birthday candle and grow more and more into who they are (though, bittersweet). Reality is complicated, feelings come and go and co-exist, and all we can do is be present with what is and use what power or privilege we may have in a way to help and uplift others who need it most.
All of this to say friends, if you’re feeling a rollercoaster of emotions- you’re not alone. Time is messy and dark right now. Do what you can.
Here is a list of vetted charities and their rankings if you have money to give: