Our world is fucked.
I ask myself whether it’s always been that way and I’m only gradually waking up to this reality, or whether it’s to do with the fact that information reaches us so much faster and more directly, and as a result much more stuff comes to our attention that we would not have heard about before.
Whatever the answer, it is a sad truth that the world, here and now, is no longer the place I thought I knew.
One tragedy after the other. I am appalled and full of sorrow about all that’s going on.
Where will all this lead?
This feeling of helplessness and defenselessness nurtures the wish in me to act. I want to help and to make a contribution to make this world a better place. Even if my contribution turns out to be no more than a drop in the ocean. After all, every storm of change is made up of a multitude of such drops.
We are not victims, and we shouldn’t see ourselves that way.
We should be active, and fight the bad with the good.
As kids we all learned that we need heroes to keep the world in balance. We also learned that everyone can be a hero. I can’t weave huge spiderwebs and I don’t have any telepathic powers, and I don’t know anyone else who could claim they do. But that is not to say I don’t know any heros. I know every day heros. People who become active for others, for animals, for kids, for the environment. The superpower dormant in all of us is called empathy and a sense of justice. Let’s use these powers, let’s pool and focus them.
Honestly, easier said than done.
Still, I believe from the bottom of my heart that each of us can make a small contribution.
In my case, I reach a lot of people with my fashion blog, which gives me a platform to raise awareness for issues that are close to my heart, even if they have nothing to do with fashion. I also try to donate some money every month, to a bunch of different organizations, usually working with kids, animals or other concrete projects. I try to change the charities I support after a while, as well.
I don’t enjoy talking about it much. As in, not at all.
Why is that?
Shouldn’t we break the silence on the good things we do for other more often?
The moment I write about my small contributions, I start suspecting myself of bragging or moralizing, which is both unfortunate and unhelpful. ‘Look, what an amazing person I am!’
That is genuinely not my intention with this. I am not posting this for the rewards of praise and attention. I don’t post it to ellicit admiration, I know full well that many of you think and act just like me, without making a big fuss. I’m pretty sure of that, despite the fact that I barely ever hear the subject breached anywhere.
What also makes me cautious is that posts like this one usually draw the odd comment insinuating that I’m doing everything I do because I get something out of it. These comments often come with remarks like: ‘And why do you eat meat if you’re also donating money to animal welfare organizations?’ It’s an irritating phenomenon, of which Daria Daria has seen a lot herself. She switched to a vegan and sustainable lifestyle, and still some readers will always find the fly in the ointment and will go out of their way to criticize her. Quite frankly, such comments are a big reason why often I don’t even bring some subjects up in the first place. Sometimes I just can’t put up with the hateful reactions.
What also gets on my nerves are these smart alecks that always seem to know for a fact that the donations don’t end up where they’re needed anyways, that dubious middlemen pocket the money, travel the world business class and eventually distribute expired drugs in the third world. This type of wiseguy always warns me of donating at all, without being able to provide any alternative themselves. To stop donating and whine instead, is that the solution?
I mean, how can it be that it’s normal in the fashion industry to buy handbags with four digit price tags, while at the same time it seems too much to spare a double digit amount for someone in need? I understand full well that not everyone is in a position to help and to contribute financially, but it’s also true that many are apparently so blinded by the world of glitter and glamour that they turn completely blind to the reality of others, in whose life nothing shines anymore.
How much is a handbag worth, when the world is in ruins?
I will concede that it can be difficult to find the right organization to donate to. For example, what really gets on my nerves are the ones that keep sending high quality mail-outs (isn’t there a better use for the money?). It makes me doubt. I’m often uncertain whether the money I donate arrives where it’s needed, like in that Greenpeace case, where money was squandered and the seal hunting industry supported.
I am aware of these things. Still, naive as it may sound, I do believe from the bottom of my heart that there are charities, NGOs and other organizations that provide genuine and honest help, and I want to support these people with their work.
We stop being victims the moment we start contributing unselfishly.
To our shared and common benefit, I would ask you to please let us all know about organizations you trust, that maybe you are an active member of, in the comment section marked #vertrauvereine (in German) and #trustedcharities (in English). It will give all of the readers of this blog some idea of what’s out there, and will be so much more efficient than writing me mails that I may or may not notice. Share your knowledge with all of us!
No more excuses.
The World is Our Responsibility.