The Trouble with Giving a Shit, and Other First World Problems

giving a shitWe are told constantly not to stress out over the things we can’t control, but it’s not that simple, because we’re not robots are we?

It’s impossible to unsee things we’ve seen, or unfeel emotions we’ve felt. Really though it’s a rather convenient way of looking at life, because once we’re suitably numb to the horrors of how so many have to live, we no longer care. Once we don’t care all the associated stress of caring disappears.

The trouble with giving a shit is that it’s hard to just tune out to the bigger picture

As much as I advocate switching off from mainstream media, especially during such politically driven times, I don’t think for a second that we should stop caring. Papers and news channels have their own agenda and are never unbiased – they’ll twist any story to spin in their direction, often inciting hatred along the way. The hatred trickles down, and is unavoidable. You can’t escape it simply by not reading news papers and websites, because it’s everywhere you turn.

Just when you think it’s safe to go on Facebook, people you like and respect come out as Trump supporters, or refugee-bashers. What I don’t understand is how the West thinks they can go around bombing other countries to smithereens, thus creating millions of refugees in the process, yet not have a plan for where these displaced people will go afterwards. What I find even more baffling is everyday people buying into the idea that all of life’s woes can be blamed on ‘the immigrants’.  But I digress…

How kind are you? 

giving a shitAs far as I’m concerned, what separates the decent human beings from the a-holes, is how they treat others. I know from experience that a random act of kindness can make all the difference – if I’m having a crap day and someone unexpectedly does something nice for me, it can lift my spirits and pull me out of a dark hole. On the other hand, if someone is horrible, yes next door neighbour I’m looking at you, it can have a lasting impact for all the wrong reasons.

The thing is, we’ve all got busy lives to lead, and those of us with small children have so many fires to put out 24/7, it can leave little capacity to think about others. I guess the question is, how can we give a shit, without it consuming our every waking thought? The answer is going to vary depending on your own circumstances of course.

Here are a few ways you could help others

Donate money. This isn’t a sponsored post that’s going to ask you to part with your hard earned cash, but if you’ve got some to spare, then do your research and ensure that you donate it wisely. It’s a bit of a no-brainer to say ‘give money to charity’ but it means nothing unless you know that you’re giving it to a charity who will do really good things with it.

Donate your unwanted stuff. Have a clear out and gather up all the clothes, toys, and other random bits you haven’t used for eons. Go one step further than taking it to a charity shop, and put some local feelers out to see if anyone is collecting on a more grass roots level. I have a contact who collects for a women’s refuge, and anything they can’t use directly gets sold at their fundraisers.

Donate time. If you have spare time on your hands, why not volunteer for a worthy cause close to your heart? A wide variety of skills are needed to run any kind of operation, and yours could be the exact skillet they’re after.

Be an armchair activist. I’m a fan of signing petitions, and seeing so many positive outcomes from them is a reminder that lots of voices collectively are more difficult to ignore. Not every person’s petition leads to the results they’re after, but it’s got to be worth a shot, surely?

giving a shitDon’t be ignorant. It’s all too easy to live in a cosy bubble, but it’s not the right thing to do. If everyone did a tiny little something for others, it would make the world a much better place.  

Wanting to help can feel overwhelming. There are so many people who need so much, but we absolutely must never turn a blind eye and pretend it’s not going on (whatever the ‘it’ might be). However insignificant you think your help is, doing something is always better than doing nothing.

Because when we stop giving a shit, and stop showing empathy towards others, we are in serious trouble my friends ❤️

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