Ever since the Paris bomb attacks, I've had so many things in my head regarding the war, the refugees, and all the talk that is going on around those topics. Seeing the news, the facebook entries showing the disasters of the war, the suffering that the Syrian people are living, specially seeing the children, and my heart just breaks. I am extremely grateful that Humans of New York is currently presenting a collection of photos and stories on Syrian refugees. I have literally cried reading some of these stories. It makes me feel so useless. I keep thinking that there's nothing I can do. I keep comparing my life, seeing all the things I take for granted, and I just feel that all I can do is be grateful for what I have and keep praying for things to work better in our world. And it's not that prayer is a small thing -- I think prayer is a huge thing! But I just remember something: Faith without works is dead.
I cannot change the world. But I can change someone's world.
Just like my world has been changed again and again in my life through small (and sometimes pretty big) acts from others, there is something I can do to help. There is something that any of us can do to help!
I was thinking the other day on how moms tell little kids that they have to eat all their food, because kids in poor countries are starving. That worked (and still does) for me. But some kids don't buy that and reply with "Why don't you give this to those kids then". Back when I was little, that was a very hard thing to do. I remember being aware that there were very poor countries in the world, but they were far, far, far away, in an unreachable place. It was impossible for a little girl like me to have found a way to send something to those poor kids. But things have changed. First, I'm no longer an 8-year-old child. Second, we are not so far anymore. Globalization has completely changed EVERYTHING. And if I want to send money to a kid in a poor country so he can eat, guess what, I can.
I'm still not sure of what I will do, but I know that I don't have to be so useless anymore. I can actually make a difference, even if it's a small one. I don't need a lot of money. I don't need to buy an airplane ticket to Syria. I don't even need to get in touch with someone over there that can put me in touch with an orphanage, or a hospital, or any other place where they are helping others and need support -- people have already gone there and come back and established connections and funds and have a whole system that is efficiently helping out. And I don't even need to put a lot of time into researching. There are organizations that have worked for years helping out others, and have a great reputation you can trust in. Just from the top of my head, I know that donating to LDS Philantropies' Humanitarian Aid Fund or to the Catholic Relief Services would be effective and would go directly to help people in need.
I really don't know why it took me so long to understand that there are things that even I can do to make a difference in someone's life -- someone that is far away, in a war-torn country, in a terrible situation that I would not wish to anyone.