Charity In Your Thirties

Ten years ago, I saw a movie about Guantanamo Bay that completely incensed me. It was called “The Road To Guantanamo” and it was based on a true story about three Muslims from England who were captured by the US while on their way to wedding in Pakistan. They were mistaken for members of the Taliban and were sent to Guantanamo Bay and tortured for two years. Afterwards they were released without any charges. I was beside myself with outrage and disbelief during and after the film. How did this happen? How could we not know about this?

Then, after a few days, the movie faded from my consciousness. It was never completely gone, and although I still remember my response to it 10 years later, I also remember how helpless I felt to do anything against injustice like that. I told a few people about the movie, but that was it. I don’t even know if they watched it.

Right now, I’m having a similar devastated and equally unuseful feeling in my heart in response to what’s happening in Aleppo, Syria. Reading about children that are being ruthlessly shot on the streets, along with gunned down innocent men and women of all ages, while Syrian citizens reach out for help and to say goodbye on social media channels is horrific to the point that it doesn’t feel real.

The sad truth about what’s happening in Syria is that it’s awful on such a tremendous level that it’s hard to grasp. In Western Aleppo, 70 percent of buildings have been destroyed. Social media messages are going out stating truths that are too horrifying to fathom.

“Abdulla Saleem, 39, a doctor who is living in the bombed out remains of a building, said via WhatsApp, “They are killing everyone. … My friends are doctors, who were providing the only possible medical care to the injured. Now they are butchered. Everyone is dying. I will soon die, too.”

“Where are our supporters?” asked Radhwan Salem, 60. “Believers in humanity, I don’t understand how can the entire world watch this and do nothing. Oh, God, help us.”

As part of the world that is watching, what can I do? What can we do? I received an email recently from Marie Forleo about how horrified she and many other bloggers, authors, and activists including Glennon Doyle Melton, Elizabeth Gilbert, Cheryl Strayed, Brene Brown, Rob Bell and more are feeling about the atrocities in Aleppo. She mentioned how she and they had joined forces with a group called The Compassion Collective. The group has a specific action plan in place to help the citizens in Aleppo:

  • We’re going to purchase and fully equip two ambulances with medicine and medical supplies for 6 months, and enable The White Helmets– 100% VOLUNTEERS- to rescue children and vulnerable people trapped in the rubble;

  • We’ll equip the mobile hospital — which is arriving in Aleppo on Christmas Day — with medicine and supplies for serving the injured;

  • We’re going to help Independent Doctor’s Association fund the planning of the first pediatric hospital in the region; and

  • We’re going to continue to fund the work of the Help Refugees volunteer network devoted to delivering people to safety.

I immediately donated what little I could to the Compassion Collective’s cause, and I shared the information I received from Marie on my Facebook. Hopefully this blogpost will inform you guys about some ways that you can help aid efforts in Aleppo. Don’t feel useless, and don’t think you can’t do anything. Even if you can’t donate any money, which I absolutely understand, simply sharing information  on your social media networks about the Compassion Collective or The White Helmets is helpful. Here are some tweets that are being shared- feel free to copy and repost:

If we’re truly committed to a more loving and just world, we must ACT. http://bit.ly/2hCoOiz @MarieForleo @GilbertLiz @Momastery #Aleppo

 The healing of the world is in our hands. http://bit.ly/2hCoOiz @MarieForleo @GilbertLiz @Momastery @CherylStrayed @BreneBrown #Aleppo

You can also share this article about what anyone can do to help in Syria no matter where they live: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-help-aleppo-syria-what-charities-to-donate-to-2016-12/#contact-your-lawmakers-4

And if you’d like to donate to the Compassion Collective you can Donate directly using this link. 100% of funds received will go directly to aid in Aleppo.

Thanks so much for reading and for being caring and compassionate.

585595c1a1a45e1b008b6a34-2400

Syria in 2010

584ecdbadd089526558b497f-2400

Syria now

Advertisements

How do I Overcome Writer’s Block?

I was just listening to an amazing interview with the incredible Seth Godin on Marie Forleo’s Marie TV show on her website. Seth Godin is one of my absolute favorite bloggers for a very particular reason: he blogs every day and even when his blogs are one sentence long he almost always has something thought-provoking to say.

Hearing Seth talk in this interview was quite amazing, as he went more in depth on his philosophies on life and blogging than I’d heard before- or maybe I’d seen him write these things before, but it always helps me to hear brilliant people share insights once again, especially in a different format.

One of the things Seth said that stuck out at me was his solution to writer’s block. Marie asked him how he blogs every day without running out of topics and thoughts to write about and he said that he writes how he talks, and that works because no one ever gets talkers block.

Interesting! I guess it’s true that -unless you’re feeling social phobia when you’re talking in public- you don’t really get talkers block. If you were talking to your best friend, you probably wouldn’t get talker’s block. I definitely love the way writers sound when they write the way they talk- there’s an honesty and a rawness to that kind of writing that makers me feel closer to the author.

Here’s a link to the absolutely brilliant interview, filled with many words of wisdom including Seth’s advice about how finding your ‘true calling’ is ultimately bullshit, and how you shouldn’t wait around. I’m actually going to listen to the interview again tomorrow and take notes.

Hope you enjoy!

seth-godin-quote

The Worthiness of Sleep

Lately I’ve been averaging around 8.5 hours of sleep a night and it’s been pretty glorious. This much sleep mainly happens because things slow down for me in the summer and I’m able to adapt my schedule to the way my natural rhythms are- I love to go to sleep around 1:30am and wake up around 10. I actually enjoy having a more leisurely morning and then really getting going on work later in the day and into the night. That works great for me. However, this schedule doesn’t go well with the structure of society today.

Not only is our society not for night owls, it’s also not for sleeping ‘extra’ hours. Today, you’re considered a ‘hero’ for sleeping less and working more. You can brag to all your ‘lazier’ friends about being so busy you had no time to sleep. Workaholism is an esteemed trait nowadays. Yet, I wonder if we might be able to do better work and bring better creations to the world if we’re better rested.

Lately, more and more awareness about the value of sleep seems to be coming to light. Arianna Huffington recently wrote about our sleep deprivation culture in her book The Sleep Revolution. I have not yet read it but I really want to. Just the other day, a blogger and thought leader that I really like, Marie Forleo, sent an email newsletter about the book including an interview with Arianna Huffington. Then, a bit later, a friend of mine forwarded me that same newsletter- so the importance of sleep has been a recurring theme lately.

Here’s a quote from the summary of the book on Amazon:

“In The Sleep Revolution, Arianna shows how our cultural dismissal of sleep as time wasted compromises our health and our decision-making and undermines our work lives, our personal lives — and even our sex lives. She explores all the latest science on what exactly is going on while we sleep and dream.  She takes on the dangerous sleeping pill industry, and all the ways our addiction to technology disrupts our sleep. She also offers a range of recommendations and tips from leading scientists on how we can get better and more restorative sleep, and harness its incredible power.”

I’ll write more reminders on the importance of sleep in future blogposts because I know that our busy world can get in the way of us ever prioritizing  having a long, restful night. When you can, try to congratulate yourself when you get more sleep and not yell at yourself for it. You’re benefitting everything else you do by sleeping more! And of course, don’t beat yourself up if you’re at a time in your life when you can’t get the amount of sleep you desire. After all, it’s not worth losing sleep over!

Sleep1

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: