Human trafficking. Ebola. Sinjar Mountain. Isis. Syria. The White Army. The Taliban. Russia. Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines. Israel. Gaza.
Sometimes the list of things that are going wrong in the world makes me wonder if we're living the Book of Revelations. What do we do? How on earth can we help these impossible situations?
The world can be a scary place. Sketch by Liberty, 2014
There is always prayer, but there's also a pesky little scripture that says, "Faith without works is dead." In other words, you can pray all day long, but unless you're working to help the situation, nothing is going to happen.
I can't personally fly to Sinjar and deliver the food they need or broker a peace between warring factions or stop the sex trade or the slaughter of innocents. While we can support policies and companies that are ethical, we can't always change a situation. But we can change ourselves.
We can reflect whatever we chose to the world. Sketch by Liberty, 2013
We can smile. We can be kind. We can keep food in our car for people who are homeless. We can be more generous. We can befriend someone who is different from us, or reach out to someone who is struggling. We can volunteer and try to be less cynical. We can show gratitude and extend love. We can visit or write a letter to someone who is sick or call our mom, our grandma or someone who we suspect is feeling alone. We can go to an animal shelter and spend time with some lonely animals. We can help a food bank. We can vote. We can send letters to our representatives to let them know what is important to us. We can volunteer. We can commit not to buy clothes and products produced by slave labor. We can consume valuable entertainment. We can be good to the earth. We can do so many things to reach out and remind the "other" that they are our brother, our sister, our friend and our neighbor. Our value isn't dependent solely on how we treat those who are close to us. Our character is clarified by how we treat those we have never met, those who are struggling and those who have no where to go.
So when you feel overwhelmed by the woes of the world, do something. Hate shrivels when we care for each other but love needs to be nurtured to thrive.