Fixing the Crack in the Dam

I don’t know much about how statistics work and even if I did, I think there are still too many factors which make them inaccurate. One major contributing factor is that some people don’t volunteer the proper information needed to collect data. If you were raped as a child and never reported it, chances are you also haven’t confided in a counselor. If your husband beat you and you still live with him, the statistics won’t show it.

This week, I posted a question about what charity you would donate to. There were many good ones like Animal Shelters, Cancer Research and Hospitals. But I couldn’t help but notice how many responses both in the stream and to my email and comments suggested Women’s Abuse Shelters.

There must be thousands upon thousands of charities out there. We all seem to have a definitive answer as to why we give to them. They may have already proved to us that they are worthy of our money. We may have witnessed first-hand how successful and honest they are. We may just have a natural tendency within our character that draws us to things that match our spirit. That would pretty cool because if we were only pulled by that, everyone would get help because our different personalities would move us in the right direction to see that everyone got the help they needed.

But the scarier potential answer is that the reasons for why you would give to charity are a direct correlation of something you are going through. This is seemingly normal in the case of Cancer where you lose a parent, child or loved one. You go on a passion-filled race to make sure everyone sees their photo, reads their words and your burning passion can raise a lot of awareness. This is good! If you happen to reach the right audience of people who have suffered the same thing, you’ve created a movement…no problem there. My spirit is more concerned with the other reason why people suggest a charity.

In the case of Women’s Abuse Shelters, I won’t be too bold to suggest everyone who said that has a secret they haven’t shared, but I am concerned. My gut instinct tells me some of the reasons behind the suggestion is there are problems directly from the person who gave that charity as a suggestion. More frankly put; is this woman living with abuse? This makes me curious. Is this sometimes our way of trying to fix something we can't fix in our own home?
Passion is the main driving force behind charity. We’ve seen this time and time again. Your family is devastated by cancer, you go on a cancer drive. It’s a tool with few flaws. But can our own passion coupled with each other’s make a difference?

I’ve heard many great stories and seen the bottom lines on charities that work. I’m glad they do. But the one thing I see really constant in most charities is the word , "short-handed". They don’t have enough supplies, enough people answering phones, doing paperwork and enough money. I really don’t think the people involved lack the passion, you simply hear about people lacking the resources. In some charity cases, I’ve heard about countries and charities who have a pile of food and don’t have a way to distribute it. Most charities are just overworked and short-handed.

I am a great believer in getting to the source of a problem. We do need the people who do the clean up, who feed the people, who pass new laws. We can place blame on every person, agency and government on the planet, but our passion-driven charity is still coming up short-handed. I continuously see people who do GREAT WORK. I see people WORKING HARD. But I also see the people who simply shrug it off and say "If the government doesn’t fix it, it won’t get fixed." I think it takes an effort by everyone to make the whole chain not have a kink. It isn’t just at the top. But I do believe there is a ‘beginning’.

Seeing as I asked you the question, let me ‘sorta’ give an answer as well.
I run a risk of answering the charity question because my audience has been growing and any answer could seem like I am representing them. The truth is I do have ones I support because we are called to help when it drives us to, but listing them seems too much like I am a poster-child.
But what I can tell you is I have something more global that is my focus and that is the healing of people.

When I grab a pen and paper and jot down all the charities people list, there is one consolidating similarity that shows up in all them; the breakdown of family.

You aren’t going to see me campaigning about this in the normal circles where people challenge what constitutes a family because I don’t see a family as necessarily Mom, Dad and kids. I see family as a collection of individuals who love each other, help each other, encourage one another and drive each member onto being the happiest person they can be. That doesn’t matter if there are two moms doing it, two dads doing it or in the case of an older sibling raising little ones sisters or brothers doing it.

My larger point is that most of the charities outside of sicknesses we can’t help feel like they started at home. Our jails are full because most criminal activity is linked to abuse or neglect in the home. Lack of education and a good upbringing go on to overload our charities with giant holes in the Dam.

We can continue to give money to those who need it and I encourage this! Don’t mistake my writing for picking one over the other. But I feel very strongly that until we can get back to the source problem, you aren’t going to see any of these charities shutting their doors for lack of abused children to help.

I know that seems overwhelming in itself. Where do you start to heal the millions and millions of dysfunctional homes? May I humbly suggest doing something that isn’t necessarily easy but won’t cost you anything? Either work on healing your own home or if your home isn’t broken, strengthen it!! Get it good and strong! If you are in the currently one-digit percentile of people with amazingly happy, exciting, enthusiastic homes, you should be actively sharing why you are happy with others and offer some good solid advice for them. I consider you the lights of the world. If you are sitting on a wealth of knowledge and happiness, you definitely should be sharing your gold.

Broken homes or even dysfunctional settings are inhibiting all of us from growing and thriving. It’s not simply our leaders, our system or lack of support, food and charity. If you have been through divorce, death or financial bankruptcy you will understand how not just the event itself has made your world hell, but lacking the knowledge and energy afterwards to get out of this hell has added an unnecessary amount of alcohol to a gaping wound.

Something simple I think more people should be doing is swallowing their pride and asking for emotional help. Telling me in an email that your favorite charity is the Woman’s Abuse shelter is fine if you aren’t secretly currently going through it. If you have managed to get through your hell and are able to start new, have you emotionally healed from it? If you haven’t, there is a chance that the memory of your hell is now inhibiting you from growing. I look back on all my hellish moments and I would say the battle scars were worse than the blows I took because they shut down a few decades of my life.

If we can get back to focusing on emotionally healing, I believe we can all begin to make a real difference. I just feel concerned that it is our overwhelming sadness which is the biggest foundation which requires charity.

In your home, how much effort is put towards helping others vs healing yourselves? I will admit, helping others feels good when you are drowning. But can you imagine if you were functioning at 100% how big of a difference you could make to others? Then, you couple that 100% functionality with your current passion? Could be beautifully explosive, couldn’t it?

If you know someone really happy, I would go pick their brain and REALLY listen, not just nod in agreement. If you are one of the happy people, then you have a big job to do, now don’t you? ;)

ROCK ON my friends!
Karen :)

"A lot of people say they want to get out of pain, and I'm sure that's true, but they aren't willing to make healing a high priority. They aren't willing to look inside to see the source of their pain in order to deal with it." ~Lindsay Wagner

1 comment:

  1. rockin blog ~! I still say helping out in areas of mental health...You Rock ~! loved what you shared here ~! xxx ~!