Limiting myself to only the named challenges was never part of my deal, but my list feels…so self-centred. I really do feel like random internet strangers stumbling upon my blog look at it and go, “Oh look. Another first-world crusade for self-empowerment and self-actualization. Excuse me while I lobby international governments for the release of political prisoners and the abolition of child porn.”
And I’m all like, “But I’ll zipline, and stuff…” as my voice tapers off and becomes inaudible…
And then I want to do this:
And then I remember to ration my f*cks wisely, and I brush those feels right off!
I’ve had superhero fantasies of saving the world—I want to adopt all abused and orphaned children and nurture them. Or at least provide them with clean drinking water, a clean place to lie down, and maybe give them some toys, too. I’ve wanted to join an NGO going into developing nations and helping them build their community (but not in an imperialist and colonialist way). They can worship whatever and however they want, but I want them to be healthy when they do. I want girls everywhere to have access to education and choice over their lives and bodies. I want to help boost my fellow human beings up, and I feel like that’s lacking in my rather limited list.
But instead, I’ll forsake meat and dairy for a month and tell you all about it.
My favourite professor ever from my favourite class ever, EVER, is Arvind Singhal.
He taught Communicating for Social Change during my graduate program. I won’t ruin the experience for any other prospective students but it is worth every virtual dollar. Among the many lovely and eye-opening things he taught, he repeated one mantra, and it still remains with me, “Begin here. Begin now.”
My life choices have served me well, and for the most part, I’ve chosen wisely. I did not choose the life of an aide worker, but chose a rather conventional life. Maybe I’ll still get a chance to do aide work, but maybe that’s for someone who’s stronger than I am. I’m not sure that I’d be of much help in the face of so much human suffering.
However, what I can do and what I am doing is starting here, starting now. I try to raise my children to not accept inequality as a human condition. I try to support every person’s effort at bettering the world through baking for bake sales, raising money for kids clubs, and donating generously to groups like UNICEF and the Red Cross who already know how to help people. I buy fairly traded products whenever I can. Maybe I won’t develop an Oxfam, but maybe I’ll have an impact on one life, and maybe that’s good enough?