Sunday, July 16, 2006

It's been a pretty intense week around my community of friends. One friend's cousin committed suicide. Another woman, a friend of mine and a very close friend of other people I know, also gave up hope and took her own life. One of my friends lost her baby in the first trimester. There are a lot of heartsick folks in the network around these people, folks who are mourning and asking themselves if they could have done more. My heart goes out to them. It is an inconceivable thing. It never fully heals, that kind of loss. The Middle East has erupted into war and there was a homeless, hungry raggedy man who was begging outside last night. Yesterday a friend rescued a baby bird wot was broken and got it to a bird rescue, after people walked by for two days and did nothing. All around, at every level, there is sorrow and pain.

So I got to thinking about humanity and suffering and the world around me. There's a lot that's broken. A lot of suffering. It takes a lot of forms. We can't fix every thing and we are not going to be able to heal every hurt. I recognize and am square with that because if I weren't, I think I'd go mad. I don't take on all the world's woes. I want equal measures of joy in my life as well.

My take on it is, that if we knowingly walk by suffering without pausing to assess what we can do, then we lose a little piece of humanity. We are not always going to be able to do anything. Our circumstances, whether it be money, time, teapot on the stove, distance, not understanding bird anatomy, whatever, these circumstances may preclude our being able to help. But we must stop for a moment and make the determination.

When we realize that we can help? That we can alleviate that one piece of suffering out of all the suffering in the world? Then we *have* to stop. We have to fix that one piece. You know why? It's our piece. It is the one we are destined to fix or carry, whether it's a broken winged bird or a human (known or unknown) in need. If we pass that by knowingly, we are diminished a little bit.

We are not always going to be able to solve every problem or fix every hurt. We are going to walk right by and miss a lot of opportunities to do that, because that's what happens. But we can keep our eyes open. And we should try to fix the pieces we can, when we see them, one at a time. One broken wing. One phone call. A blog post. A ride on your bike rather than a trip in the car. An email. One fax to your senator. One dollar bill in a cup. You will fail to repair more than you actually do mend. You will see an opportunity and not act quickly enough and it will pass you by. More will be broken than you can bear. Do not lose heart. Just do what you can when you find the broken piece you were meant to fix. Consider it your destiny on the level that, you are a human being living on the planet with other creatures.

We have to repair our bits and trust that others are going to pick up the pieces we cannot. One at a time.

And that's what I think about that.


Lucia said...

Wow. ((Hug)) going back to you. It just seems we can do so little.

sopranospinner said...

You choked me all up! I often think, when I wake up in the morning, what can I do today? I do a lot of volunteering and I try to keep my eyes open. I'm trying to reduce our "carbon footprint." And turning my children (however much I feel like I fail) into civilized people is a good thing for the world that I work on every day. I find that since I have little money to contribute, that my time has value, and my love, and this makes me feel like I've made a bit of difference. But it is so upsetting when things happen that we wish oh, so much, that we could have done something to prevent. My heart goes out to you and your cousin and your friends and that sad mommy and everyone suffering today. May you find peace.

Roxie said...

The tide was out, stranding hundreds of starfish on the beach. A man, jogging down the sand saw a young woman throwing starfish, one at a time, back into the water. "What's wrong with you?" he said. "There are hundreds of starfish here. No matter how much you do, it won't make a difference."

She picked up another starfish and threw it into the water, then said to him, "It made a difference to that one."