The Luxury Of Hopelessness

by Simone Henderson

I had a very busy day. I’m sure you understand--food to buy and cook, laundry to clean, clients to see, money to earn.

So when I received two emails each from Amnesty International and the International Rescue Committee imploring me to contact my senators and urge them to support sending UN peacekeeping forces to Darfur, rather than call I felt annoyed, put out, guilted.

And then I thought for a moment.

Here are millions of people suffering unspeakable horrors and this is a cause I’ve supported and spoken publicly about.

How can I be annoyed? What’s really going on here?

I realized that my annoyance was a cover up.

What I really felt was helpless and hopeless.

For all the spotlighting of this genocide, for all the petitions signed by hundreds of thousands, for all the rallies, the situation in Darfur has gotten worse, not better.

What I was really thinking was, “What difference will two more phone calls make, especially to senators who probably already support increasing aid to the Darfur region?”

Then I realized what a luxury it was for me to feel helpless and hopeless while millions of men, women, and children are being tortured, raped, starved, and murdered.

How dare I do nothing because I choose to believe that I can’t do enough?

I came to my senses and understood that I needed to do something, not just for the people in Darfur, but for myself.

First, I got my priorities straight and called my senators.

And then I emailed them for good measure.

I spent part of the rest of the day forgiving myself for wallowing in hopelessness.

At the end of the day, I wasn't yet done forgiving myself.

That may take awhile.

So how are you spending your busy day?


Good points here Simone!

We all buckle under too much being needed from us sometimes, and the charity overwhelm problem is now well known, but I don't think the organizations consider what their mailing lists are already receiving at the peak times of the year like Christmas and Tax time.

But taking a deep breath and then taking some ACTION can help you to feel more productive and strong in the causes you believe in, even when you can't just write out a 'guilt cheque' to them.

Having a charity schedule as part of your annual budgetting and planning can help you with this sort of problem.

And maybe it would help if you start planning and setting aside specific times 3-4 each year for your 'action steps' when you sit down and write those petition letters and make a fuss to support those organizations you want to help out.

Learn more of our how to do it tips for motivating yourself every day by using free daily motivation and also get this month's inspirational quotes.

You can also learn more here about how to create your self development plan using this sample or template as a guide.

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