Monday, December 14, 2015

I Need Humanity to Come Back

This is going to sound weird, especially coming from me, especially to those who know me. Yesterday, as I was watching my dogs pee (I don't know why then, usually I do my best thinking in the shower) the word "service" came to mind. The odd part to me is that I usually equate this word with religious connotations. Church service. Servicing others. And I'm not a church person. I don't spontaneously combust when I enter one, it's just not a place I choose to visit regularly.

So I've been thinking about it and what it means to me.

I got an email at work about how we should all be prepared in today's world. Lock doors, wear badges, park in visible areas, etc. We live in a very scary time. And while I feel relatively safe at work, being out in the boonies a bit, I still have friends and family to worry about. I worry for people I don't know because there are so many uncertainties and the news is bad every day.

Between the events in the world at large and our own political debates and in-fighting at home, I feel lately that we have lost our humanity. There is no compassion for people who are different from us, we're bombarded with messages that we have to protect ourselves at all costs. I don't think this is true, but voicing it results in me being labeled a "bleeding heart."

And it's a struggle for me to remain calm and rational when I hear all the rhetoric being thrown around. My mother and I disagree on one particular presidential candidate who I believe to be one of the worst people to come on the scene for a while. He constantly spews hate and fear-mongering and I think my mother is smarter than that. That's when I realize I'm doing it too. Making judgments. Putting on labels. We have to be better than that.

Working back to service. It is said that you must first help yourself before you can help others. Maybe that's why this is coming up for me now. I've spent the last several years working to be someone I can be someone I like, who I can spend time with. And I do. Some of my favorite evenings are the ones I spend alone, with a cocktail, blogging or listening to music or watching TV with my dogs. I'm a pretty fun date for myself. So maybe I've opened up some room to be able to give back.

The problem is, I don't know how. I don't know what that looks like for me. Many of the consultants in Pure Romance talk about making a difference in the lives of women. And that might be one way. I have a customer whose husband only likes to have sex one way and it's pretty demeaning for her. Her own mother encourages her to submit because "He'll find it elsewhere if you don't." Her mother perpetuates the idea that her body doesn't belong to her, that she must sacrifice her personal boundaries in order to keep a man that doesn't respect them. There wasn't a lot I could tell her, but I hope my suggestions in some small way empowered her to start thinking about standing up for herself. Maybe a tiny seed was planted.

I try to advocate for animals. I celebrate when a dog is rescued and finds a new home. The only problem is, there are 25 more waiting behind him for their own families. I cheer when animal rights become something to fight for, to vote on even. And then I hear that their are only two of a rhino species left in the entire world and poachers are running rampant.

I don't know where to begin. I don't know where I'm needed. Do I start small by being kinder? Is this where a return to humanity is sparked? How does it spread? Do you know you're making a difference or is it like parenthood, where you're just in the trenches day after day and one day when she's able to reflect and sit in your shoes for a minute, your daughter tells you that she appreciates you and understands you've only tried your best?

If you practice being of service, what do you do? Do you give your time, your money, your home? How do you not flash with anger at the injustices in the world? Is there something that lasts longer than giving money to a homeless person or donating to a Gofundme for someone in need or buying a Christmas gift for a needy child at the office? How did you find where you fit to offer the most?


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