“I cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do.”
Never in my lifetime have I felt so urgently helpless. The global pandemic alone has put us in times where everything feels, frankly, destitute. And to think that there is a lot more than the health crisis that needs attention in the world!
August 19 is observed as World Humanitarian Day. When talking about humanitarian crises, there is unfortunately a lot worth paying attention to. The Lebanese are recovering from an explosion that stunned the world. Black Americans are fighting a long-standing fight against police brutality. Palestinians have been long fighting annexation from Israel. Yemen has lost over an estimated 1,00,000 lives and is famished. Australia is only just starting to recover from the bushfires from earlier in the year, and California is fighting the flames in the present. Even right here in our homes, Assam is dealing with great loss of life and capital due to the flooding of the Brahmaputra.
I don’t mean to put a damper on already damp spirits. Times are tough, and I can’t stop thinking about this image I saw on Tumblr during my Tumblr days that read,
The government does not care. We the people must help each other.
While it may not agree with all governments to draw such a critical and generalized statement, I do think that people have the power to help other people more than any institutions. Institutions are only the path we must sometimes take to true good work.
According to the United Nations, 54 countries are fighting humanitarian crises in the present, and an additional 9 have developed humanitarian needs during the global COVID-19 pandemic. This year, in the 11th year of observance of World Humanitarian Day, the UN is honoring #RealLifeHeroes. #RealLifeHeroes are health and aid workers who are fighting disease and aiding refugees despite resource insecurity. They are people who are doing noble work all around the world to care for humanity.
The word ‘hero’ can be big and often alienating. In the Indian context, we use the word to talk about film stars who work in tandem with all the special effects that film has to offer. Personally, there aren’t many situations in which I feel I can justifiably appropriate the word for myself. But amidst the number of visible crises around the world at the moment, each one of us has the opportunity to be heroes.
If you are able to spare monetary donations, a simple google search will return links to relief funds for all the crises I have mentioned and more. If there is nothing you are able to spare directly, there are a lot of videos that are generating ad revenue and donating them to various causes around the world. Nothing is too little!
I’ve never been more aware of the realization that we are living the history every moment. It’s worth noting that we have the power to create, and not be mere onlookers to what is really starting to feel like the beginning of the end. Create change. Be your own hero!
Follow @missmalinilifestyle for more such updates and to know how to get involved.