it’s not time for tea

I had one of those strange moments the other day when I was laying down in bed with a hot cup of tea on my night stand and two purring kitties draped across my legs. I was happy. In my comfortable pillow-top bed with my favorite Harry Potter blasting loudly on the TV. (That’s the Half-Blood Prince. Obviously the best. Anyone who disagrees probably smells like farts.) I mean… can life really get much better than that? Doubtful. Then… I remembered what happened in Manchester the day before and started feeling guilty for having everything so good in life while other people are suffering and in pure devastation. I was ashamed of my happiness. Of how easy I have it. How amazing my husband is when women are treated like dogs in other countries (and sometimes even here, sadly.) For having family that would support me no matter the circumstance when others are dumped on the street and homeless with nowhere to turn.  I was physically ill over these poor people who were murdered trying to enjoy a concert, when I was sitting in bed enjoying all of my favorite things.  Life is cruel and unfair.

It was very much a “why me?” moment in my life. Except instead of being down on my luck and wondering “why is this happening to me?” it was the complete opposite. How did I get so lucky? I’m not even that nice of a person, so it’s definitely not something I deserve. I’ve been trying to come up with ways to actually help and make a difference. What do you guys do? I don’t want to be one of those people who post #prayforManchester (or whatever the current tragedy is) because it’s trendy and actually do nothing about it. Seriously, how many of the people who posted that on social media do you think really prayed or did anything to help? Probably not a lot.

It’s terrible how powerless you can be when there are so many people suffering.

(Usually I post humor, but I strayed from the theme this time! Sometimes it’s just necessary to branch out when the world is going to shit. Back to normal programming next post <3)

76 Comments

  1. Horrible things happen all over the world every day …. one person can help another person where they are … just do one thing in your own zone …. all of the worlds problems will not be fixed but it will be better for someone in your zone.

    Reply
  2. Great post today… not to say previous ones weren’t also great, but I’m a new follower, so… that’s just what it is! 🙂 But, I sort of thought about the same things in my 365 daily post today; it was more focused on being courageous. You and I are just lucky. And we’re grateful for it. But sometimes, it does feel scary and hard to accept when we see what happens around us. I get so angry, thinking about people who takes things from others without knowing a single thing about them. And I wish I could do something to make it better. But I don’t know or have the answer either. It’s a start just thinking about it, and kudos for that. All I could do was say my own silent prayer, hope that more people like us take over the world… yet I know it’s not enough. Powerless is a great description. Sorry for the long-winded response. Just wanted to take a second to say I’m with ya on the whole thought for today.

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  3. One thing I learned long ago…I cannot save the world.

    All I can do is enrich my little corner of it, by offering fair trade energies to the Natural.

    Now…am I saddened by the madman who felt the need to share his madness in a display of violence? Yes, absolutely, I am.

    But can I save future younglings from the madmen who would do them harm? No…all I can do is continue to pour my healing energies into the Natural, who then disburse them as it sees fit.

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  4. Jay

    You horrible jerk.

    You are trying to live a healthy, “happy” life just to spite people who go through misery!

    I hope you realize that is sarcasm. You cannot fix the world, and all because tragity strikes half a world away, you should not dwell. Like you asked: how can I make a difference?

    Educate locally. Make sure the people around you understand, not just know, your thoughts on the tragity. Bad things are always going to happen, all we can do is condemn the things that we do not agree with. This also means we have to celebrate everything we find amazing.

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    1. I know you’re right. Sometimes it hits me pretty hard and the feeling of powerlessness takes over. I mean, it’s impossible for one person, or even a couple million really, to control the entire world. I’m an emotional person sometimes and it has some great affects on me at times. ick.

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  5. I needed to read this post today. I’ve been moping around and pissed all week because the guys who installed my new HVAC system with ducts knocked two holes in my ceiling and it has taken more time and inconvenienced my week considerably to get everything fixed. It has been a shitty week (to my standards). But, this is a reminder to keep things in purrspective. There are loads of folks who have it worse than me right now…and every single day, for that matter. Thank you.

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  6. Good post! These are things I do to help the world: I do simple everyday things that I think are important like: be kind, be helpful, be friendly, don’t get upset, help the environment, help animals, write to congressman if I disagree, recycle etc. I believe by putting good into the world you help counter-act the bad. I also always give on kick starter or other fundraising plans my friends send to me. I support survival groups and donate and volunteer for Human Rights organizations, I also stay positive and never bitch or post negativity on my social media. I think these actions, if they do not help, at least don’t contribute to the downward negative spiral. I believe every bit of goodness, laughter and kindness you put into the world is of benefit.

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  7. I’m not trying to be stupid or cliche when I suggest that you just try to make the world better for one person. Maybe it’s your neighbor or your husband or the lady behind you in the drive-thru. It’s not going to help anyone in Manchester or places where women are treated badly, but it will help the one person (or the ten or fifteen) who you can reach now.

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    1. It’s not cliche at all – it’s really the only thing one person CAN do. Well, unless I had Bill Gates amount of money or something. But sadly, I don’t lol. Doing good definitely has to start locally, and I’m going to start working at doing a better job of it! Thanks 🙂

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  8. One man took 22 lives, and injured 59 with just one violent action.

    Just imagine what one woman can do with just one well-placed non-violent action. In one post you have given 10 people food for thought, in less than 2 hours. People who will take your words to heart and try to do something to make life better for someone else… there’s another 10 people you’ve reached. Already 20 people will feel better and be a little happier because of your one non-violent action. Never feel bad for what you have in life, others have it far better than you do, and yes, some have it far worse. We can only do what we are able to to make a difference. You are making a difference every time you blog to all the people who read your words. Already you’ve made a difference to me.

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    1. I was going to say something similar, but you’ve said it as well as it can be said. Blogging that you genuinely are hurting and would like to help, and reminding those of us who have it good that we can look to share that good fortune with others is huge. Thanks for caring! And you have full right to enjoy the beautiful moments. All of those people who lost someone will be looking back to their beautiful moments for comfort. Embrace them when you have them. Share the happiness you stored up during them. It’s all good.

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  9. Guilt is bad, gratitude is a awesome. It’s a wonderful thing to be grateful for what you have. When you wake up grateful it makes you a more giving, compassionate person. If you were not giving and compassionate you would not feel for other humans who are suffering. Only when you are connected to humanity can you feel for others. Although there will likely always be those who will be angry, confused and unbalanced regardless of their circumstances, a great cause of violence around the world is scarcity of resources. While people feel deprived, and disenfranchised they will look for someone to blame and there are unfortunately, leaders who will pray upon those feelings and coerce these poor people to do terrible things all to further these leaders personal agendas (in spite of their public speeches and personas and/or claims of religious fervor). The best thing you can do (in my opinion), is work on the local level to elect leaders who will work to decrease the wealth gap and help the disenfranchished (I mean really help…not just say they will and then work to actually increase the wealth gap). We can’t change the world but we can change our own small space and if many do that, indeed, the world will change. You have the power.

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    1. You’re 100% right. I love everything you wrote here. It definitely needs to start locally. I’ll admit, I haven’t done the best job locally with government elections or trying to push for people who I think will actually make a difference. I really need to focus more attention on that aspect. I’m going to start trying to make an active difference where I live.

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  10. Blair, couldn’t have put it better…. And you are wrong; we DO actually pray for those people, we DO think of them and their families & friends, we DO include them in our caring thoughts as much as we can – and we ARE very thankful for our good life. We know it’s not perfect but we know perfectly well that is more than just perfect when we compare it to all those poor, poor people who would gladly give every little thing they have to change their life for ours….
    And YOU have the right to feel happy in your bed, with your film & maybe a hot chocolate…. because I’ve learned that only if you like yourself well enough you can be good for others. With your few words you’ve already made a difference, maybe made a few ^sit up^ and think. And that’s a lot!
    Love and good thoughts to you, Kiki

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    1. Thank you! <3 I hope a lot of people DO actually do all of that stuff. I've always had my doubts! Maybe I'm too much of a pessimist lol. You're right, though… you have to get your stuff together at home/with yourself before you can really focus on improving other people's lives 🙂

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  11. Egad do I know that feeling… I personally always try to remind myself to start with the small things, like being kind to others (hold a door, smile, even when they don’t smile back), be tolerant, be patient, be polite, teach your kids to do the same. The small things DO make a difference, whether we believe it or not. You may not be able to change big things far away from you, but the small things you do send ripples, good or bad.

    Meno<3

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    1. You’re right 🙂 I really need to just focus more on doing things locally! I’m not from the area I live in and don’t know much about it so I’ve been slacking quite a bit at doing things around here. I always try to be kind and friendly though. That’s just being a nice person 😀

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  12. What can we do? I think merely to be kind to someone where maybe you wouldn’t have been. As often as you can. If we all did it we would make the world a happier place and nobody would be so angry that they needed to kill people.
    I’m a Buddhist and we did get together and pray for peace.
    And the stuff that happens to you? I believe that Good and bad you earned it, and that same stuff is an opportunity to use it and make good from it.
    Reading through the comments it seems that a lot of people (apart from the Buddhism and karma bit) think along the same lines.
    You can only do your best, but every little bit counts.

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      1. Agreed. I don’t think there’s anything supernatural about it. And sometimes the bad stuff isn’t a punishment, more of an opportunity to rise to the challenge. I’ve seen people do amazing things in trsponse to nasty life events!

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  13. Gratitude is the attitude – you have every right to feel happy, and enjoy as many moments as you need of feeling good. Your thinking of others shows you care a lot about the world, more than many others. You have demonstrated that with your words, and you can do more in many ways, if you wish, as people have outlined already.

    We had had terrorism atrocities occuring in this country for decades, but this is the first time I have wept so much over something so senseless and so, so sad. But I, and many others, have also laughed at the twitter British Threat Level hashtag reports – https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/24/britishthreatlevels-hashtag-british-character-social-media-terror-british-threat-levels. We don’t forget what’s happened though, and by carrying on as normal as possible we create a united front showing that we will not be cowed by such actions.

    So please ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’.

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  14. I’ve felt the same, exact way; not just with this attack, but with others. Of all the things in the world we all deal with as individuals (some public, some not), we still find it necessary to blame ourselves when we feel happy.
    As many people have commented, you can’t save the world. I know you might still feel bad, but it’s a hurdle I haven’t crossing yet, either. It’s weird to want to be happy; like the guilt of just feeling good about yourself in that moment “is bad”, according to our brains.

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  15. You said it yourself. Life is cruel and unfair. Now please don’t take that for an excuse not to do something. Take it for the reason to do something. But only you can figure out your something. For me it was joining the military..back when people didn’t just join up. That was in the 80s when countries including the US pulled out of the Olympics to protest Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan. Yep, they were in the news then too. For you it might not be that dramatic. Maybe your something is to post a blog that reminds people that just posting #prayforManchester doesn’t work without the actual prayer.
    Knowing that people aren’t as happy with their lives as you are with yours is the first step. Recognizing that’s an issue for you is the second. I’d say you got the first two steps down and as any parent will tell you, once the kid puts two steps together there just is not stopping her.

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  16. Really thoughtful post and a great read by the way. With all the upset going on in the world today I’ve been asking myself the same question. But I think you’ve got to start with those around you. Even if it is just one person. Be kind to them, look after them. Just by giving them a hug when they need it can really go away. Yes, it wont solved world tragedy but it will ensure that good will always conquer evil. I fully believe that even if it does sound like a story tale cliche! I wrote a post on the Manchester attacks if you would like to give t a read.

    Have a great day – I’m sending you all the hugs in the world!!!

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  17. Well, I didn’t do anything for the Manchester tragedy, I will admit. And with everything that happens in our world, I probably do not do as much as I should except try to remember how blessed I am. Having said that, I do try and donate to different causes. I try to give to local charities. I’m also now starting to think of ways I can help Plan International’s “Because I’m a Girl” campaign – in particular their End Child Marriage focus. It’s been a topic close to my heart ever since studying about forced child marriages back in school. I know what I do is not enough – but I try and do what I can. Most recently, I’m been toying with the idea of a career where I can work for a charitable organization. It is tough – a really good one means a huge salary cut because most of the profits SHOULD go to the actual cause. There’s a lot of high profile organizations that take maybe 10% of the profits for the cause. The rest end up in the pockets of 6-figure CEO’s and VP’s. Kind of sickening. So I’m trying to figure out how we can function with a salary cut when it’s not like we make that much as is (we’re lucky, though, to be getting by).

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  18. I row my tiny oar against the current, giving to worthy causes and defending Enlightenment values (fairness; liberty; rationality; tolerance). I also recognize that my oar IS tiny; I am neither able nor obliged to fix the whole damn world. Beating myself up does not help the victims of crimes I did not commit. Sometimes it is hard to remember that.

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  19. I sort of went something similar when my mom first died, only on the opposite side. None of my friends wanted to tell me about their issues or problems because “mine was so much worse.” They didn’t want to “burden” me with things that they thought were trivial when compared to what I was going through.

    In their minds I had it worse than they did. It took me almost two months to find out that my friend was facing unemployment because he didn’t want me to worry about him.

    We all have “hard”. We all go through life experiencing positive situations, and we all face hardships. The tragedy that other people experience does not undermine or devalue our own experiences or trials. Our emotions are just as valid as everyone else’s; our anguish and sadness but also our happiness and joy.

    Life isn’t a competition. We can’t compare our lives and say, “They have it worse / better.” Who’s to say what’s worse? Being disowned by your family for being gay isn’t easier or harder than having to tell your significant other that you have stage 5 kidney failure. The shooting at Pulse wasn’t worse or better than the bombing in Manchester. It all sucks. Life sucks sometimes. People suck some times and very often most of it isn’t fair or right.

    I try to combat the unfairness by being fair, honest, and creating positive ripples when and where I can. I like to think my actions will have a butterfly effect. With enough small actions maybe through the years I’ll create meaningful positive change, and even if I don’t, I helped make at least one person’s day better. I’ll fight injustice with kindness because I refuse to let Life turn me into a bitter hateful person.

    The world if full of enough unfairness without people intentionally being dicks to each other.

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  20. I don’t hashtag my prayers. I’m pretty sure prayer is not trendy these days. Some people would rather you never pray for them ever.
    But, I do believe in prayer, in positive energy, in hope, in grace — and I can wish it upon people without a hashtag or their own knowledge.
    Whether we’re too happy or too sad, we often feel guilt that doesn’t belong to us. Stay with the gratitude. Enjoy your HP and kitties and tea. Maybe enjoy the peace and happiness you feel even moreso for those who long for that kind of normal. <3 Great post.

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  21. So, that was a true growth moment…. difficult… the realization moved you forward and the path for action will become clear. Your post makes so much sense. We live our lives in relative ease, most days without awareness of the tragedies unfolding… I too wonder why… karma? have I been here before, will I be here again? Am I living my life generously, with kindness to all? Big questions, and so little time… HUGS for your authentic thoughts.

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  22. Some years ago, here in Montreal, a lovely young couple were enjoying a dinner al fresco, on a restaurant terrace. Suddenly part of the concrete cladding in front of the building high above broke off and fell – on the woman. http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/falling-concrete-slab-kills-woman-at-montreal-restaurant-1.417370

    Or a meteor could strike Earth tomorrow.

    And then there’s Manchester.

    I’ve come to believe that stuff that happens is f*cking random as sh*t. All we can do is enjoy the great moments we have while we can. And be nice to others – people and animals.

    Arghh – just read all that over and almost deleted it – what a downer, huh?! Er… still, I think my point stands. Forget the past. The future is unknowable. Live in the NOW.

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  23. I know it is repeating what others have said but YES…act locally. There are tons of opportunity to help and do good, I’m sure, within in just a few miles of where you are. Narrow it down to the something you feel passionate about because that is how you will have the most impact. Small acts of kindness can make a big difference. YOU don’t have to change the world, we all do that together.

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  24. There will always be good and bad in the World and the murder of 22 and injury to 56 in Manchester was bad and so was the murder of at least 28 and injury to 23 as gunmen fire on bus carrying Coptic Christians in Egypt.

    But there is also so much good as can be seen in Manchester as all faiths came together to condemn this atrocity and pray for the dead and injured.

    These acts of violence are carried out by the few who not only wish to kill and maim but to also create disunity across communities and countries. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Manchester atrocity and may still do the same for Egypt, but no one should let them achieve their main aims.

    Now is the time for all communities and countries to work together to counter the aims of ISIS and any other extremist organisations. We also need to acknowledge that there are extremists relating to all creeds, faiths, and races, but no matter where they are and who they are they will be in the minority and the majority cannot let the minority succeed in their respective aims.

    It is easy to lay blame on all of a certain faith or race, but these extremists will not be doing these acts to benefit the faith or race in whose name they say they are doing these unspeakable acts, but are doing it to further their own ends and if they are allowed to succeed we will all be the losers.

    Lets welcome all faiths and races so that we can be one against all these extremists. and that will extend the good and work to cast out the bad. In doing so all our prayers will be answered.

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  25. Survivor’s guilt is tough. I don’t believe we can change the world; only our small part of it through respect, kindness and compassion, especially to the young, so they don’t grow up believing that an extremist group is their savior.

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  26. One thing that helps me appreciate my good fortune is remembering those who made the sacrifices, who fought in wars, and who walked picket lines and who just stood up and said what was needed to be said when it needed to be said so that I can have all this good fortune.

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  27. I fear sometimes that we are becoming desensitized with each new horrific incident we read or hear about. That these horrendous things are becoming commonplace. Sometimes, I honestly just want to avoid the news especially here in the US where the news is so sensationalized.

    Sigh..

    Thanks for posting. At times like this, we do need to share our thoughts, share our empathy.

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  28. It does feel like one more # doesn’t it? I am always sad when i wake up to one more horror. No we can’t do much, but to a certain extend it isn’t our fault either. One day it might be our turn, our friend or a member of our family. I teach tolerence to my kids and explain that judging someone on their religion, colour or country of origin isn’t going to make things get better…

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  29. Wow..You have elicited so much of compassionate thoughts and words with this geat post. Isn’t this a true war against terrorism? Thank you for letting all of us share our feelings and empathy. You have done your bit, now I’ve to think about mine.

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  30. This is similar to the quote attributed to Jesus – “The poor you will always have with you.” That doesn’t mean we should sulk around feeling bad all the time because there will always be the poor around us. We can’t help the poor by becoming poor ourselves. We can’t help the poor by being sad for them. The same is true for the victims of violence and destruction. You can’t help people like this by becoming a victim yourself or feeling bad all the time. Start by being grateful for what you do have and find a way to take from your abundance – whether material, emotional, spiritual, etc – and find a way to give it to those who lack.

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  31. Knowing more of what evil lurks out there courtesy of social media is stressful. It used to be just the news, but now everywhere I go online I’m bombarded with negative images/thoughts. I feel like you do, in that I don’t know what to do to effectively change things for the better. Maybe it’s as simple as writing posts like this one, to show the world that we’re paying attention…

    Reply
    1. Blair (The Shameful Sheep) Author

      Right? Social media is a burden in general to me. I can’t stand even scrolling through people’s posts because it’s rare that any of it is positive. Just wears you down over time. Ick

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  32. It’s nice to sit back, take stock and realize everything is great. You ask what do *I* do? I try to make a difference in all of my actions. My job, my lifestyle, the way I drive.. these all do more good than harm. I believe that everyone has to do their share, and maybe something more if it isn’t unreasonably hard.

    Reply
    1. Blair (The Shameful Sheep) Author

      You’re exactly right. Everyone really needs to pitch in to make a difference. I can only do my part, I guess!

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  33. I feel that guilt about having it good all the time. Welcome to the daily internal struggle of Libras. We feel every injustice and our scales are tipped out of balance. Even as a young child when I would see images of starving children on TV or homeless people on the side of the road it would stay with me and I would tell my parents that it wasn’t “FAIR” that some people had extra food and big homes with extra rooms while others had nothing. My poor parents just kept telling me over and over “Life is not fair”.

    I got off social media because it disturbed me to see people were using the #prayforSyria hashtag and overlaying the French flag over their profile pic because I knew most of those people do nothing else to contribute to making this world a better place. It’s hypocritical to me.

    To feel less helpless I find ways to “do something”. I’ve volunteered & fed the homeless, I spend one day a month sorting through donations at a local non-profit, I’ve made small monetary donations to organizations like Working Wardrobes, ACLU, Surfrider Foundation, Planned Parenthood etc. I write to all my elected officials regularly. I attend Huddle Up meetings in my community etc…. Depending on what you’re passionate about you can find things to do that will work for you. If what resonates with you is the plight of victims of disasters you can donate blood or make a small donation to the Red Cross. We aren’t powerless.

    Reply
    1. Blair (The Shameful Sheep) Author

      Right? The hashtags on social media drive me insane. It truly makes me wonder how many people actually do anything about these tragedies. Do they make a difference or are they just doing photo overlays and hashtags because they want to be trendy? It’s maddening. I only use Twitter a little big for my blog. I have no personal social media thankfully. I can’t handle it. You’ve done a lot of great things to give back. I need to work on doing some of those things for sure. Thanks for your well thought out response 🙂

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  34. Like you, and so many other commentators, I do not join in the hashtag/flag adding/sending prayers/etc ways of mass media claptrap. Do something positive, but do it all the time, not just for disasters/terror events/school shootings. I volunteer as a Trustee of a charity, give regularly to several charities, have several KIVA loans on the go. KIVA is great because you can help people over and over again with the same small pot of money. Speak to homeless people, everyone you meet, praise good behaviour and politeness, thank people for their kindness.

    Do some, or all, of these things, and you will be contributing to making the world a better place, and, maybe, changing someone’s life for the better.

    https://www.kiva.org

    Reply
    1. Blair (The Shameful Sheep) Author

      That’s all great stuff people should be doing all the time, but they don’t. I need to follow your lead and kick my giving/volunteering up a notch. I’ve never heard of KIVA before, so I’ll definitely check it out!

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  35. Hi Blair…thanks for the like and follow…I also found myself blogging about Manchester and other awful/disturbing stuff which I normally leave well alone…and I also feel so so lucky. I am definitely, absolutely with Peter on this … I think we are only in control of ourselves and our greatest impact will be on those (and the world) immediately around us…so if we want to do something for Manchester, we have to be our best and kindest right where we are. And in fact Manchester has done something for me by encouraging me to do and be my best and hopefully add to the good in the world. We can do it. There’s far more lovely people than those intent on harm….

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    1. Blair (The Shameful Sheep) Author

      Thank you, and I totally agree with everything you’e said. I’m thankful for the people out there who don’t intent on harming others. It’s too bad they get overshadowed by the assholes

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      1. Hmmm… millions of individual acts of goodness (which, I promise you, happen everywhere, every day) are not news… in fact they are ‘normal’ …so they will definitely be overshadowed by the news about a relatively few assholes. The job of the news media is to highlight and magnify the unusual..(it sells newspapers) ….paying 100% full attention to the news is the sure-fire way to feeling bad. So I try and keep my eye on the good stuff all around me.

        Reply

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