When I was a little girl I didn’t know what was happening two blocks over, let alone on the other side of the world…
then I grew up and suddenly I was responsible for tempering the weight of my angst against every global problem with a bottomless solution.
One night (pre-teen), while cleaning the dishes, my mother walked by the sink and said, ‘We feed our garbage disposals better then most kids in Africa’.
Holy Hell in a Hay Basket.
What am I supposed to do with that?
Can I mail the liver and onions to Kenya?
I’ll ask the milkman what he does with all the ice cream sandwiches he doesn’t sell.
… And the ‘Feeling Responsible For Things You Can Never Effect So You Should Just Keep Your Mouth Shut and Suck-It Up’ began.
But ya know what? It’s BullShit.
Bull to the S to the I’ve got my own worries and they Matter!
Picture: pom-poms swishing across my body and then a jump in the air with the inevitable botched landing and now I’m crawling off to find some Tylenol. It’s the effort that counts- no?
We are all living in the ‘here and now’. My ‘here’ is in a too-soft chair that is giving me a leg ache, and my ‘now’ is minutes after I’ve said goodbye to my daughter as she returns to the place she lives and prepares for a trip to the other side of the World as a veterinarian student.
Remember the first time you let your kids go to town by themselves? Now, multiply that by about 1,000.
Here are some other issues that are on my mind and important:
What will I prepare for dinner tonight? Not important enough for you? Stop thinking about this and the meals add-up. Next thing you know you’re eating out all of the time, and lo and behold, you’re 30 lbs over weight and your clothes don’t fit, making new clothing articles a priority, forcing you to purchase clothes at discount (because you don’t want to spend a fortune as you’re certain this is only temporary hahahahaa), no matter that these clothes are made in sweat shops in India by little children getting 5cents a day or they are put on the streets to beg by their parents.
Dinner. Abused children. It’s a slippery slope.
Another gem- The Yard Sale. Should the items be just donated- flat out- to people in need or should they be sold and added to another’s cargo of crap they don’t really need? Does one take the proceeds and buy more crap or does one donate the $100 dollars in nickels to the local animal shelter, because without these small donations surely a dog won’t receive the medical and psychological care she needs from the ‘Fighting Ring’ it was rescued from.
How then, does this effect the pricing of ‘said’ items for sale? Should one price to ‘sell’ or price to save an animal- dare I say World?
Of course you could just donate on a regular basis, but you’re thinking you do enough already, and your Christmas donation is generous enough, so up-cycling is the answer. The sale is on. You’ll volunteer more, and buy that little patent leather handbag you’ve had your eye on. It was made in India- so there’s that.
And another: Recycling. Admit it. It’s a conundrum. When I tally the gallons of water it takes me to rinse clean all of the recycled items that I meticulously separate for easy distribution just to see it all dumped in the same pile in the back of the truck, I wonder who’s fooling whom? Then, of course, there’s the What Do They Accept? policies. My neighborhood waste management company doesn’t recycle glass. It has been suggested that we recycle our glass through the private recycling program at Tulane University- which is private, with parking tickets involved, and scornful looks from coeds, not to mention the petrol needed to wind my way through the ongoing road blocks that accompany the last-minute Use-It-Or-Lose-It FEMA money that has our road surfaces currently torn-up, making, if necessary, a timely trip to a maternity ward, nearly impossible.
See- Recycling to perilous births. All interconnected.
Then we have Energy. It’s HOT here, but I’ve got the AC on half-mast. I often wonder how people survived before air conditioning which always brings me around to share cropping and all that stooping in fields. And what about the catastrophic climate conditions of the 1930s dust bowl and the migrant workers who moved west with Model Ts full-up with sick kids and a rolled-up piece of linoleum. That must have put tremendous pressure on the California infrastructure. Maybe that’s why avocados are so expensive? Should I eat more of them? And what about King Crabs? Have you seen Deadliest Catch? They should charge more. Of course, I won’t have any money left to support these industries after paying my electric bill, but I should consume more items that help others make a living wage unless by doing so I reduce my discretionary income, and then, I can’t afford to support anything, and I need assistance, and then I’m a cog in the wheels of progress and no one’s buying avocados, so there’s a migration out of California, and they end up in Alaska and the crab gets fished-out and then my grandchildren will never be able to taste the sweet deliciousness of yet another species that goes belly-up.
I’m saving a species people. A SPECIES.
Of course, none of this is logical. None of it translates. None of these ‘worries’ and actions actually effect change of any kind on a large level, and yet here today, in modern society, we are scorned for expressing any worry smaller than a global crisis.
What a shame that we have lost our ability to empathize on a intimate level.
Let’s change that.
If you find your challenges today are how to pay for your child’s day care, what to do when you get a flat on a highway, how to make a baby stop crying before you blow your brains out, that menacing migraine with no half-hard transportation to get to the doctor, how to juggle all your obligations, that you forgot your wallet, that you’ve over-packed your suitcase or forgot your umbrella, I’m here.
Respecting your life.
Because I’m just a girl, looking at the daily grind, asking it to make sure I cop my morning caffeine buzz before the phone rings, and the problems start again…
… Because they matter.