BENEFITING: American Red Cross
ORGANIZER: American Red Cross Chicago Chapter
EVENT DATE: Oct 08, 2017
I know that I have been missing in action on social media and just about everywhere else for the past few weeks. I have been a very uninspired writer lately. I wouldn’t call it writer’s block. More like writer’s depression. And what has got me down, you ask (and thank you for asking)? Well, without getting too personal, a lot of days it is our news.
Now, I know that I am not alone in this. You go online or pick up the paper and the world is filled with war, hate, natural disasters, and unimaginable suffering. There are days I can’t process it all and it really gets me down. I started to really explore what was really bothering me about it all other than the obvious anxiety these stories create. I realized it was because I was passively absorbing all of this bad news and feeling completely helpless. Going off the George Costanza theory that the opposite of my instinct to sit and worry was really my problem, I decided to give action a try. The only question was how.
What I do know is that to take real concrete action on something like making the world a better place you have to 1) be practical and 2) enjoy whatever it is you are going to do. As for the practical piece, it is not feasible for me to be on site at a disaster area or somehow intervene in the North Korea situation to create peace there. Based on my work with not-for-profits in my “day” job, I know that practical in solving any problem always comes down to money. Money solves a lot of problems, especially big ones. So, my first part is solved. But, where do I get the money? Wish I had it, but I really do not. Without money, what else do I have? I could perhaps barter, but what? I’d love to convert my accounting skills into helping the folks in Puerto Rico right now, but it doesn’t seem like there’s much correlation there. Then I thought about my other passion of running. Hmmm…maybe that’s the ticket.
The easy solution would be to run the marathon for a charity partner. And given the recent events in the Carribean, the American Red Cross would seem to be a perfect fit. Only problem is that the marathon is only a couple of weeks away and registration closed long ago. Seemed like a road block, but then I thought why not try? A quick e-mail is free and the worst they could say is no and then I’ll move on from there. I sent my note off in August and was told thank you but sorry there are no entries left. I said no problem and I went back to the drawing board.That board stayed blank until a couple of days ago. Then, Team Red Cross had one entry left and I was offered it. I had a few hours to decide and I took about 30 seconds to think about it before I said yes. You are now looking at the newest member of the 2017 American Red Cross team.
I was looking for action, and now I’ve got it. It feels a bit overwhelming, but as soon as I pick up the paper every morning, I know that my part in this is very small and very manageable. It is an honor and privilege to do whatever I can to ease just a touch of suffering if I can.
I can’t say this approach is for everyone, but I can tell you that some action, any action, feels better than none. If you are not sure what you can do for yourself, I would be more than happy to have folks join me and my team by donating, particularly if you were thinking of donating to the American Red Cross anyway. It at least feels better to be doing something to at least try and make a difference. At the end of the day, isn’t that about all we can do (no need to answer, definitely a rhetorical question)?