HELPING

The only qualification you need to help is a pulse. Pretty sure you have one.

 

Posting social justice articles and signing online petitions can leave us feeling thwarted. We know we need to do something, but clicking and posting feel like empty gestures. Also, there are a million pressing injustices--in the face of so much wrongness, we throw up our hands.

 

I recommend choosing one issue--ideally a local issue (and all national issues are, in some way, embodied locally)--and go deep. Find a local group that works on your issue. Go to a meeting. Join the small band of rebels struggling to restore freedom to the galaxy.

 

 

Being with weirdos who care about the same stuff you do will make you feel less lonely. Also, there might be snacks. Working with other people to do something that matters infuses life with meaning. Getting off-line and into the trenches will restore your hope.

 

You can do direct service, and make chocolate chip pancakes for the hungry. There is definitely a soup kitchen in your city that is desperate for you to chop onions. Or you can focus on politics, and go door to door for a first-time city council candidate. You can set up the donuts and coffee for your AA meeting. Or you can advocate for the doctors in the county health clinic to screen new moms for symptoms of postpartum depression.

 

Of course, attending your first meeting will take a dollop of courage. To muster the get-up-and-go to step out of your comfort zone, you need to be in a good mental place. So before you get into the business of helping, you must first get HELP.

When Mystical Creatures Attack! is a novel about an idealistic teacher who has a nervous breakdown and corresponds with her former students from an inpatient psychiatric facility.