At 26 years old, I like to think I know myself pretty well. With 26 years of life experiences, I know what I like, what interests me, what my dreams are, what motivates me and the types of people I enjoy spending time with. I have a fair idea about who Catherine is…but sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in things that don’t resonate with this person and suddenly you can’t remember what it feels like to be her.
Earlier this year, after coming home from Canada and around the time of my birthday, I felt a sense of emptiness. I couldn’t make sense of my own life and I went through some new and interesting emotions. For about a week I couldn’t sleep at night and my thoughts seemed to consume me. It was like the world had no sense of purpose and I wanted to make everything that is wrong in this world, right! But I didn’t know how to go about or if it were even possible to change anything? I felt helpless.
However, I eventually saw the light at the end of the tunnel. After a few Skype chats with my sister and immense support from Jack, I started feeling better. At least once I could actually put it into words. My housemate also gave me some good advice about thinking too deeply. She said ask yourself one question, can you change what you’re thinking about? If you can, then you have nothing to worry about. If you can’t, there’s no point in worrying.
The reality is there are a lot of things that can’t be undone in this world. There are some things that have gone on for too long with wounds too deep. Our society functions on institutions based on a hierarchy system, a system that has gone on for centuries. Unfortunately the nature of this system is extremely disempowering to those that haven’t been born into a privileged life. While institutions like the government can help maintain stability and bring wealth to their appropriate counties, they can also turn a blind eye to the ongoing issues of the world that are in dire need of repair, such as inequality, racism, imbalance of wealth, poverty, death and disease, and war. Perhaps it’s intentional to keep these institutions empowered, or perhaps they haven’t figured out how to change something on such a large scale? But the good news is that we as individuals can help change any of these issues on a small scale. It’s very likely that these problems will continue on our planet, at least in my life time. But I’m a firm believer that they can be minimised. Everyone can do a little something to help deplete these issues and the more people that do a little something, the greater the results will be.
Our challenge is to balance our day to day lives while also making time to give selflessly for a greater cause. No excuses! For me, I started volunteering at the Sydney children’s hospital as a play therapist last October. I work in the corporate world full time as a marketing coordinator, which doesn’t leave me a lot of time to put into this. But I can easily make an effort to go every other Saturday as assigned. My duties involve visiting the children in different wards bringing games and craft for entertainment. It’s extremely rewarding to see the children smiling and playing and just for a little while, forgetting that they are ill. I understand that this is on a small scale, but it’s something that contributes to a greater cause. We all have an option to do something like this and still carry on with our everyday lives. You just have to take action and do it. You could be a part of a movement trying to deplete these ongoing issues and that’s pretty amazing.
Last night I went to a concert put on by a great musician Michael Franti. He strives to raise awareness through music about some of the problems previously raised. He believes we are all equals and should be treated as equals. His lyrics, his stories and his message all represent love and kindness. I found it very inspiring seeing someone with fame, who came from no money, now has such a positive influence of vast group of people. Franti is currently working on a documentary based on his experience in Iraq (11:59 song) and the stories of people he met there. People that were ordinary people (just like you or I) doing extraordinary things to help our planet. He compared helping others to a garden in a draught. He explained that while it may not be in our power to water the garden, spraying the garden still helps it from dying. In others word, every little bit helps.
It’s important to understand that everything we do in life is a stepping stone towards something else. Thomas A Edison once said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try, just one more time.” So I leave you with one question…How would you like to help? Thanks for reading!