A few words for those moments when the world feels overwhelming, and we feel pretty powerless to do anything about it.
Hello and welcome to the spot on our site where we chat about things that may be affecting us, or just weighing on our head a little. It’s not too tricky to find things that might fall into those categories in the current climate, with many of us feeling particularly anxious regarding the daily numbers being released about That Thing That Shall Not Be Named.
If there’s something quite unifying about it, it’s a sense of powerlessness. I was listening to Romesh Ranganathan chatting to Brett Goldstein on the excellent Films To Be Buried With podcast, and listening to Romesh chat about how he gets anxious was really eye-opening and helpful. In particular, the idea that he finds things just a little easier when he discovers he’s not facing something alone.
Thing is, it’s pretty much impossible for any human to go through the last year and a bit and not worry, and not struggle, and not have down days.
What I’m also really personally conscious of though is the feeling of helplessness. I feel it when a government somewhere in the world does something I really dislike, I feel it when horrible things are happening I feel unable to affect. That whole feeling of what can I actually do that would be of any use?
Truthful answer to that is I don’t really know. But also, I’ve come to learn over time that there’s a finite amount of things I can affect, and I try and do so positively as best I can with what I have. I might not be able to overhaul the pricing structure of the public transport system, I can help someone who’s running for a bus. I can’t solve hunger and homelessness. I can buy a Big Issue and have a chat with my (brilliant) local vendor. It’s small things.
I’m often reminded of the old adage that big insurmountable problems are often lots of very difficult smaller problems. That it’s only the smaller stuff that we can individually make a difference with, and the combined force of all those small things – if lots of us do them – might, for instance, turn something like climate change around, or at least nudge it in the right direction.
On the days when we feel the most helpless, there are little, tiny things we can do that might not change the world for the better, but they might change someone’s world for the better. If more of us can do that, then hopefully there might be a few more good days out there for us all.
You all stay safe and take care.
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