What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Does it seem like the world is falling apart?
The last few weeks have been pretty heavy hearted.
Right after Hurricane Harvey, and the devastation to Texas, my head started to spin with how to help, what to do, and just general sadness. And then, the media announced there were more hurricanes coming, and earthquakes, and shootings, and that’s not even touching on personal issues and this going on.
It just seems like we are going to HeXX in a handbasket.
On Facebook there were meme’s saying “I want the world that I grew up in.”…… a longing for the past. People wondering what was going on in the world today. The announcement of the apocalypse at every turn and so on.
However, if we study history, we can see the fall of humanity in each generation. Here are some of the reasons I think it may appear worse:
- Media – The fight is on for our viewership. The media makes $ on advertising so if they are the first to get the scoop, more people may tune in to that station/media/website. Just look at the confusion over Tom Petty’s death for example. The news agencies were so anxious to get the scoop, they actually announced a death before he had actually died. And if you are on social media it spread like wild fire.
- Social media also means the news never sleeps. We have instant access to news at every moment. I don’t even have to turn on an app. My phone automatically alerts if a major event happens.
- When we are younger, we are shielded from some of the extreme news.
- Also, when we are younger we tend to be more focused on ourselves and our worldview is quite small. Just look at the reactions to a major world tragedy in a high school vs. your place of employment. When I was in high school the Challenger accident happened. I still remember students, quite a few actually, laughing as they watched. Their view, and life experience, was not able to wrap around that was someone’s dad or mom. What they watched was a live feed of many deaths.
- Our mind tends to think better of the past than it actually was.
- As we age, I think, we tend to realize our part in helping others. It’s no longer our parents or grandparents world, but ours. As we make this move/realization, we see all the needs and it can feel overwhelming.
- Having children can give us a different perspective. We want the world to be better and safer for them.
- As our worldview gets bigger, we see tragedies outside our own city/state/backyard. The more we travel, make new friends, have new jobs, live in more places…the more chances we have to have a closer connection to the event. Your knowledge of tragic events multiplies.
It doesn’t mean that we don’t try, we don’t fight, and we don’t help. In fact, I believe it is what we are called to do. First Corinthians 12 is a perfect explanation of how we are all to do our part to bring harmony.
15 Ways to Help When Tragedy Strikes?
- Take Care of Yourself – Taking deep breaths is a great way to reduce stress. And we all know the oxygen mask theory. Go for a walk and take in some beauty.
- Pray – Often times the first thing we say is “Prayers for X situation” but are we really praying or is it something to say? If we pass the phrase around and don’t do it, it will be worthless. People might think, “Yeah, so all these people said they prayed, and so what?” If we believe there is power in prayer, than we have to do it. Plus, I believe people can tell if you are sincere or it’s a cliché statement. Even better, pray with someone on the spot!
- Reduce Media Time – Yes, you want to be informed but you know when it moves past that. When you start to feel sad, depressed, helpless, sitting in front of the TV for longer periods of time than usual. It’s best to get the information and get out. This can also include re-evaluating children’s viewing habits and having open dialogue with teens about what they watch and see. Plus, if we put some limits on our media time, we may have more time to do other things.
- Be Social – No, not social media. Get with family and friends and hug your loved ones. Being with others helps our frame of mind and connects us.
- Volunteer – I wasn’t able to travel to areas affected by hurricanes and earthquakes, but I could volunteer in the community. You can research your area for local ways to help others. Think of what gifts you have that can be used to help another. Like to cook? Recently there was an ad on Craigslist from college students who were willing to do some work in exchange for some home cooked meals. Like decorating? Is there a single mom at your church who could use an apartment refresh? Do you cut hair? Is there an organization that helps the homeless with haircuts? ETC!
- Donate Money – There are many organizations that accept donations. How to choose? All over social media you can find disagreements of agencies to donate to. It’s true, you need to be careful and research organizations, but don’t let it stop you. Cash donations are one of the most useful items to have in an emergency situation.
- Give Blood – But what if you don’t live close? It doesn’t matter. Blood banks almost always are in need. You may not help someone across the country, but you can help someone else. Helping is always good.
- Keep Helping – Did you know giving significantly dropped a year after 9/11? Tragedy brings us together, but we need to keep it going. Is there a charity/church/organization that you can give regularly to? Can you serve in a local food bank each week? You can find local opportunities here.
- Look – All you have to do is look and listen to a few people and you will learn of a need (or two) real quick like. When I was feeling down, I got in a few situations where I was listening to people and wow…so many needs. A grandma who has no family near by. A single parent who is worn out. A person in chronic pain. A favorite quote, of mine, just happens to be from a kid movie, Robots… “See a need, fill a need.”
- Think Long Term – Although I love clothes, decorating, entertaining, and such, I am thinking about my choices in a whole new way. When I contemplate replacing something in my home or a new project, I am wondering if there is something that will create a better impact. I am not going to stop doing the things I love and exploring my passion, but I am rethinking some of my choices to see if they will matter in the long term and bring lasting happiness.
- Listen – We are prone to think our way is the best way. One of the best things we can do, is to listen to someone else. Listen to the co-worker with a different opinion. Listen to a family member. Listen to the cashier. We may find out life isn’t easy for any of us. We all have a reason for our beliefs. None of us fit in a nice tidy little box. We are complicated creatures not labels.
- Vote– We tend to think big picture in fixing the world. The government really needs to do something about xyz and yet voter turnout for the Presidential election is 2016 was 53.5%. And truth is, the presidential election is one is usually higher turnout than the local and state elections.
- Get Political– Facebook is fine to get your voice heard, but contacting your local representative may just carry a little more weight AND often we had to think through our argument a little more than a burst on social media. We had to share facts, be educated, and present ourselves in a manner in which someone may want to read what we wrote. Work/volunteer for an organization that you believe in, sign petitions, start petitions, and/or donate are just a few ways to be part of the process.
- Show Grace – We hear, change starts from within. When someone cuts us off how do we respond? When our friend fails us (as humans do), do we forgive or hold a grudge? If a neighbors dog is doing it’s business in our yard, do we go to him/her to try and resolve it?
- Do Hard Things – There’s a book, for teen’s, with this name (which is an excellent book by the way). It’s basically what it states…… Doing hard things instead of the easy path. The world is better because of people that do hard things. A man who lost his own life while shielding his wife from bullets. The teacher who chooses to teach at a lower income school, and purchases books/supplies from their small salary, to make a difference. A football star compelled to enlist in the military after 9/11. Someone who sells their home and possessions to become a missionary. Everyday we encounter situations that we can do the easy way or the hard way. What will we choose?
These are just a few ideas. Feel free to comment on any additional tips and thoughts you have. But whatever you do, we must not loose hope……………
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Salvage Sister & Mister exists to help others make the most with what they have. Sometimes that’s using up items in the kitchen to reduce food waste. Sometimes it’s discarded lumber to work on an upcycle project. And sometimes, it’s salvaging moments.
Salvage = Rescue from loss