Thursday, December 21, 2006

I know nothing.

I've realized this week that I'm rich. An odd thing to say for someone who worries every month about bills, has no 401K, no stocks, and a savings account that gets dipped into more than the vat of fudge at the county fair. Someone that calls on her friends and family more than is comfortable...

But I'm reading What is the What? by Dave Eggers. The story of Valentino Deng, one of the Sudanese Lost Boys. The story is devastating in emotional tenor, simple in its prose, but beautifully difficult in the reading process.

I find myself longing for someone to explain it all to me. Why do we do these things? Why do some people suffer so much? Why do some people live on to tell their stories?

More than the big questions, one small question keeps rearing its head: What can I do?

According to the story, I am the typical person that wants to help: a woman, between 30 and 60, the type that would work at a school or a church. That's me: raised in the church, working at a college - a bleeding heart through and through.

But so what? Who cares if I'm the typical person who wants to help. I DO WANT TO HELP - How many others even notice? So now what? Who do I help and in what way? Who needs it? What do they need? Will they be happy to get it? Or does that even matter?

I guess we are sometimes charged with giving, even if the act of giving is not rewarding. Sometimes, we must truly sacrifice ourselves and do what is uncomfortable - admit that we do not know what is best. And yet, we are still charged with trying to create an action that conveys that we are trying.

So I've signed up for the email prompts at - knowing that Darfur is a different scenario, but one that's escalating quickly. This is just the first drop. I'll be looking for the opportunity to contribute a splash, maybe even a bucket to those that have nothing.

I've always said there are times in your life when all that you can do is continue to breathe - to let your heart keep beating long enough that something changes to make a softer, easier life for you. To all those people who are in that place right now - hang on. Something will change soon.

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