I went on a rant on Twitter last night. I'm sorry for that. I promised I'd not go on rants, because what's the point of a rant on social media. It doesn't accomplish anything and people just ultimately tune you out mid-rant anyway. That being said, I had originally intended to catalog my thoughts properly, but I got fed up after a series of events and just barfed on the internet... so let's get back to those organized thoughts.
Yesterday, yet another unthinkable and senseless act of violence was committed by someone with a gun in our nation. An entirely preventable death of a news crew as they broadcast live on television. It's fucking horrific. There's no more delicate way to put it. It's gotten out of goddamned control in this country and the only thing anyone is doing about it is arguing over how "if only they'd had guns to defend themselves" like a wild west shootout is the answer. We're never going to tackle anything with reasonable voices anymore, because we've all become way too self-centered and the internet has allowed us to hide behind anonymity and do that whole "He who shouts the loudest" thing.
So I've decided I've just had enough. We can share links on Facebook and we can "pray for the families" but let's all be super honest, passive shit like that doesn't really get us anywhere. I'm going to take some serious action... but in an unexpected way. I don't like fighting, especially on the internet. I'm not going to pretend I'm ever going to make a difference in the fight for gun control. There's way too much money on the pro-gun side and I'm not interested in any of that. What I'm going to do instead is, in the face of horrific tragedy, find some small way to make a difference for someone who needs it. I'm going to step up when it feels like the rest of the world is stepping down around me. I'm not looking to get a bunch of people to share a hashtag or to "join me in my cause," I'm just going to do it. Anyone who knows me, knows I love a good challenge, and I've rarely backed down from a personal challenge. So starting today (yesterday, actually) I'm challenging myself to do something, literally anything, that makes things a little better for someone else, every time something unbelievably tragic happens in the world. I'll do my best to do it every time I'm able, whether it's buying a homeless guy a cheeseburger from the restaurant he's standing across the street from, or finding a family on a giving site who's losing their father to cancer and can't afford to pay for whatever life may throw at them next. It won't be hard, because it's barely any effort on my part when you really think about it. But if I make the conscious effort to try, I can maybe lead by example and pass along a little bit of love, caring, empathy and the desire to do what's right to my daughter, who learns by watching me. At least when she's old enough, if I'm still around (fingers crossed), there'll be two of us giving it a shot.
So today (yesterday) was awful, but I called in a take out order of a burger, fries and a giant glass of water to be walked across the street to the homeless guy I ride my bike past on a fairly regular basis. I happened to drive past there later that evening and saw him eating. Got a little emotional. But it worked. It took all of 3 minutes for me to look up the phone number, call the place, explain what I needed them to do, order the food and I was done. 3 minutes of my life and $11 I would've otherwise probably spent on Netflix or something, that fed a guy dinner.
So that is my challenge to myself. Day 1 complete. I'd love to have the number of days on my list be small, because that'd mean there's less shit happening around me, but asdays continue to grow, at least it means someone else had a better day as a result, so I'll be ok with that.
If you're still reading, thanks. I appreciate you hearing me out. I hope you have a great day, too.