i am not one who typically feels helpless. in high school, when i wasn’t getting an A in calculus, i sought out tutoring during my free period. in college, when i couldn’t figure out astronomy or economics, i did the same. (clearly, math and science are not my strong suits.)
regardless of the situation, i have never been afraid to ask for help. help being picked up from the airport. help fixing the fact that my bank account overdrafted and there are no banks near me to immediately deposit cash. help making my ceviche not taste like shit. help getting out of the house when binge watching netflix has held me hostage for days.
and i have always tried to help others when i knew how. help underprivileged youth finish homework assignments on time and graduate high school. help clean up trash from beautiful beaches and climbing areas. help friends talk through hard times and big decisions. help family run emergency daycare pickups when flights are missed.
but i have never felt as helpless as i do right now.
i am empowered to assist. i am passionate about injustice. i am motivated to create change. and yet, the next steps seem so faraway. i click on facebook post after facebook post promising ways to take action, but they all seem so arbitrary.
the dark cloud that has been floating over us since november continues to hover. continues to make me want to stay in my hawaiian bubble or retreat to my australian getaway. it is this underlying sickness of feeling utterly helpless in the face of such daily tragedy. here, and everywhere.
a few days ago, we were detoured due to a traffic accident. i couldn’t help but stalk google for updates on the incident. that feeling of horror would not leave my gut, so i kept trying to calm it with details. every unfortunate detail. five car crash, four dead, two injured. a 50-something-year-old man driving a pickup truck crossing the center line and crashing head-on into a camry uber.
we were minutes down the road.
i did not know any of the people in this crash, but yesterday as i picked my “nephew” up from daycare, i could not shake the fear. the danger of driving. the unknowingness of daily life. the deepening pit that would eventually eat me alive if anyone’s life was lost on my watch.
i did not know any of the people who were murdered in las vegas, but as i thought about the hollywood action scene unfolding onto reality, the pit deepened. the helplessness sunk in harder. harder. harder. harder. what fear will this cause?
i stared at all their faces today. faces that could have easily been mine. (you know i love me some country music.) i read article after article and watched clip after clip and am still left asking how? how does humanity get here? how do we get the fuck out of here? how can i help? how can we help?
i am asking you because i need help. because i need to help.