There are so many problems in the world. Poverty, sickness, global warming, pollution… they are serious and they are legion. Yesterday I despaired of being able to truly help. I think though that being concerned and doing whatever little bit we can does help. While throwing money at a problem may not be the best solution, there are few organizations that couldn’t use more money to help them combat the problems of the world. Or volunteers. Doing anything at all is better than doing nothing.
One of my problems has always been figuring out which problem to help with. I want to solve them all for the whole world. Realistically, I can’t do that. I am one middle-class, middle-aged nursing student with little time and a family to help support. I have neither the resources, nor the know-how to solve all of the world’s problems. What I end up doing is using the shotgun approach. I send a little bit to several different charities or causes and don’t end up making much of a difference to any of them. Unless you focus on the idea that every little bit helps. So the solution is to pick one problem and an organization that helps with it, support it in whatever way I can for a year, then pick another one and support it for a year. If that means calling my congressman and signing petitions, I can totally do that. If it means sending a monthly donation, I can manage a little.
While it may not be much, if enough people do the same, it can create change. In the same way that environmentalism became a movement through the efforts of individuals, individuals are the ones who can solve world problems. Donate to a food bank, give micro-loans through Kiva.org, donate to a charity, volunteer to clean up a beach or park, just do something. I am an indecisive person. I have so many options before me that I get paralyzed and end up not doing anything, or, like I said, I do a little bit for a lot of things. This year I am going to concentrate my efforts. It may not be much, but it’ll be more to one organization than usual.