There’s a poem written by W.B.Yeats that starts:
Come away, human child
To the water
Come away, human child
To the water and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand
It’s a sort of haunting piece with its observation “the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand”. That’s where I come in today, with thoughts on the world’s sadness, so much so that, as I travel and listen and observe I occasionally feel a sense of helplessness because of the immensity of the issues at hand. On the streets of my home town, Cambridge, maybe the premier centre for education in the world (though I am sure there’s a few people from Oxford who’d disagree) people sit and beg on cultured streets with a thousand years of history.
But it’s no different else where in the world. New York, Paris, London to name a few. I’ve been hailed by beggars in each and many more places. What to do because the immensity of the issue is…well immense.?
I have watched news reports on refugees on the move all over the world, refugees arriving on the beaches of England and now a nation’s population cast adrift in Ukraine. What to do?
Wars proliferate the face of the globe. Wars over politics, religion, land, identity, and, at the root, greed. It’s estimated that in the last 3500 years there have been only 230 years of peace in the civilised world. Can we even dream of turning such a tide?
Starvation. The United Nations report figures of nearly 100 million facing starvation. And there’s enough food in the world to go around!
The world is a bad place,Marmalade
A terrible place,
But Lord, I don’t want to die.
It’s all too much for a simple man such as me and so an invitation to “Come away” is a most appealing, almost overwhelmingly so. I can understand why many live lives isolated from their neighbours, their colleagues, their friends. Present in body but standing off in terms of commitment, involvement, empathy locked in the closet. Feeling helpless or maybe no longer able to be bothered.
Pogue, if we are concerned, if we long to see change, I’m going to suggest that we turn our perspective on it’s head🙃 because the issues that face us in the world are just too big, mere mortal that we are. If we want change we need to start small. It’s the ‘One step at a time’ philosophy. History is full of people who started ‘one step at a time’ and impacted even countries. Think of your favourite, Jesus. He collect a group of close followers, one-by-one, then with his small, motley crew, set off and, quite literally changed the world. I know he healed a bunch of people, and made moves toward addressing hunger with just a handful of bread and fish but you and I can work on that. It’s a learned art.
If you can touch one person’s life you have made a contribution to a better world. Depending on the person and their situation that may be all you can do or it maybe you are able to bring a little relief or joy into a number of lives depending on your resource. Do be aware, people with needs can be very draining and therefore you need to commit little by little. Guard yourself as burn out is all too common. But give in proportion to what you have and can comfortably give (I did say ‘give’ and you will be giving, be that advice, consolation, time, physical resources). They get it for free and you pick up the tab. But as with food, there’s more than enough to go around. If only the world could grasp the fact that if each of us gave from our excess then we would change everything.
As I sit here writing I am watching crabs collecting bits and pieces and dragging them to their holes in the sand. Hiding them and then returning to repeat the exercise. Here’s my metaphor. Crabs squirrelling away as much as they can manage (and, yes, now I’ve mixed my metaphors) because in their world it’s quite obviously all about me! I know we witness identical behaviour all about us (goodness remember the beginning of the pandemic and toilet rolls! Like some great vanishing act in the supermarkets) but there is a better way, a way that takes the good of my world and puts little bits of it in others worlds.
You change the world by your example, not your opinionAnon
I’ve said this before but it bears repeating. It’s a Law of the Universe that we get in order that we can give and then the Universe gives us more. We live in such an abundant world but so many are ignorant or unable to believe. Be a believer. Work miracles of loaves and fishes and receive more in return.
The world is a sad place, full of weeping but one step taken can change that for one person. Maybe you and I were not out here to change the world at large but that does not prevent us implementing change. Then…maybe you and I were put here to change the world. Wouldn’t that be a most wonderful thing!
The people who think they are crazy enough to change the world are the ones who do.Steve Jobs
Yours, just sitting on the beach thinking,
3 thoughts on “It starts with one.”
Wic, I like this one very much. I’ve been devastated by yet another mass murdering, a racist hate crime with a legally purchased automatic rifle by an 18 year old… The adult granddaughter of a woman executed was expressing herself on social media. Apparently her Grandmother was a leader in Buffalo for inter-racial healing. And this woman who wrote is a professional committed to providing antiracist training. And her anguish was evident in her post: “Was all that my grandmother did and all I work for— is all of this in vain?” I keep thinking, no, no, no. Not in vain. Because though there is one who destroys there is slso one who builds up. I know that the education, experiences, and relationships with the many people of color in my life set me on a path advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion. What kind of hold would white supremacy have on me but for their continued influence? Claire Sent from my iPad
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I absolutely love this post. So much so that I wrote one ‘inspired’ by it, and linked in a few lines from yours. (I hope you don’t mind.)
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, Wic ❤