Mere Sympathy Won’t Change The World

photo credit: matyzezi

photo credit: matyzezi

It’s easy for us to get caught up in our own safe, comfortable, first-world lives.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with living in parts of North America or Europe or anywhere else. But there is a problem if we remain willfully ignorant of the biggest problems our world faces. And often, some of the most dire situations are far enough away that we don’t think much about the people being affected.

Millions of Syrians Without a Home

You’ve probably heard a lot about Syria, Iraq, and the wave of destruction in the Middle East because of ISIS. With it all over the news and increasingly in conversations and blogs populating my social media feeds, it’s been on my mind for a while as I’m trying to put the pieces together and process the stories.

It’s all overwhelming, to be honest—especially when we come across images of a dead child whose family just wanted to make it across the ocean to a safer country, or maybe we’re moved by the power of welcoming fellow humans to a place where they can find a little rest and safety when the reality of their lives and homes until now is dissolving in front of them.

When we’re disturbed, we’re provoked to reconsider our perspective of the world.

Discomfort drives us to make a change because what we’re currently experiencing doesn’t seem right. (share this)

I don’t know how to solve this, hailed by many as one of the most devastating humanitarian crises of our lifetime. And I’m not sure any one person has the answers to be able to shut down radical social, religious, and violent fervor that drives one kind of human to try to push other kinds of humans out of their homes, lands, and safety, with no regard for their humanity or dignity. The sympathy alone is useless.

The world is far too big for any of us to change. But that’s OK; you and I can at least start with something.

Change happens when a thought translates into action. (tweet it)

“We don’t have to be perfect, just engaged and committed to aligning values with action.” – Brené Brown

A Small Way to Help

In lieu of this month containing Kati’s and my birthday, we decided to do things a little differently.

Normally, we have several family members and friends who live to send a card or a gift, which we really appreciate. But this year, with the refugees from Syria and other nations in the midst of such dire crisis, we’re asking anyone who would normally send a birthday item to instead send a few dollars to fund humanitarian aid for those displaced from their homes. We set up a World Vision fundraising page here that we’d love for you to check out and share with anyone you think might be interested.

It’s OK if you don’t want to give anything; for those of you who do donate, I think it’s best when you give because of your personal conviction and willingness to play a small role in helping people who desperately need it.

Thanks for considering this, friends, family, and Internet humans. I appreciate you.

This is our chance to make a small difference for Syrian refugees.

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What’s one crisis in the world that you want to see solved?

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