“This isn’t directed at you…”

It doesn’t take much, does it? A couple of words saying “this isn’t directed at you” that attacks my methods of coping with the world, and *bang* That’s it. Indecision and questioning and that little black raincloud like the that was made of Winnie The Pooh when he wanted to get the honey, hovers over me, and I don’t have my umbrella to stand under him saying “tut, tut, it looks like rain…” Nothing to be done but wait out the rain, and when it’s done I’ll have forgotten it all over again… or not. I don’t forget much.

To be honest, I’m satisfied with my methods of coping with life in general now, compared to what it used to be. Okay, so I’m not an activist trying to save the world, or whatever. But I’m also not hurting anyone. I do my damndest not to hurt people and animals. That’s the last thing on the world that I want to do. I can’t say I’ve always succeeded, because sometimes doing what’s best for me has hurt people, and sometimes I’ve done it inadvertently, and (rarely) I’ve just been mean.

I had a friend once who told me that, and it set me on the right track for taking care of myself. He once said to me, “There’s nothing really wrong with JennyLee. You don’t hurt people.” And somehow that hit home… at that point, I had thought that everything was wrong with me. But really, there isn’t. I’m flawed like everyone else, but flawed isn’t wrong. And being told that I’m selfish or short-sighted or depressive just gives me an opportunity to take that step backwards again, into thinking that there is something wrong with me. I can’t think in generalities like save the world, save the whales, help the victims of famine and war… I want to help individuals… I want to see that I can make a difference, and know that I am having an impact on just one person. I want to save the world, but I want to do it one person at a time.

Is that wrong?


  • johnboze

    May 23, 2000 at 5:01 pm

    Volunteer Work???

    I haven’t tried it much personally, it is enough just keeping me and my corner of the world in rights, but those around me who do volunteer work say they find it rewarding in some of the ways you seem to be looking.

    • eyean

      May 24, 2000 at 2:22 am

      Re: Volunteer Work???

      i do voluntary stuff, but mostly for killing time and just discover something new. like, crating heaps of toys for kosovar kids. then questions seem to pour in, each searching for answers that reveal more questions. would they be able to forget the war with all these toys? would it be that comforting as old fido? should we send food instead? grrr. it numbs me. then i feel like a cold bastard. okay, back to crating don’t do some thinking. it just messes me up.

      i read it back. sounds so vague. sorry, english is not my native tongue.

      cheers lass.

      • Jenny Lee Silver

        May 24, 2000 at 7:48 am

        Re: Volunteer Work???

        It’s like asking yourself if it’s really worthwhile to give change to someone on the street who’s asking for it. Sure, they need food, or a coffee… but what if they buy cigarettes or alcohol with that change? Is that a waste? Does it make them happy? Would it be better to give them food? Or should you just go work in a shelter? Are you making a difference in their lives, or are they just going to forget you did something for them?

        And if they do buy smokes or a beer with the money, and they don’t use it to better themselves, or get food, is that a reflection on you? Is it better to ignore them and walk past? What if they really enjoy that cigarette? What if that drink gives them a moment of fabricated peace, that makes them feel better? Does that make it worthwhile to give them change?

        Too many questions.

        • eyean

          May 24, 2000 at 8:04 am

          Re: Volunteer Work???

          yep. answers always begets more questions. and exponentially.

          volunteer work makes me feel like a robot sometimes. joining other people’s causes and pet projects makes me wonder if it’s really a calling. is this really me? am i doing good? good god. i am selfish. it’s like church, i go there to listen to the scottish choir. i was never a big fan of religion. spirituality is different. most of the volunteer work are church stuff. so i end up looking like a good christian which i know i am not. okay, the thread is turning into “look at confused sorry lil me” now. back to voluntary work.

          i did go to the balkans. to see if the project was getting on well. funny thing i discovered. that the european countries refused entry for the refugees. but gave them aid. they just took in a small portion of the population as a token of goodwill. it’s like a hungry and cold person knocking on your door and you gave him food but let him stay out in the cold. what the… switzerland, small as it is took a hundred thousand of them. germany, the u.k. and austria, took in about 5,000 each. and they only allowed professionals that could integrate well into their societies. architects, doctors…etc. italy has about half a million, and they don’t complain. france turned a deaf ear. it’s like the wealthy wouldn’t share and the poor gives them everything. this is not a rant. i won’t run a crusade. it’s just an observation.

          those kids need toys.

          • Jenny Lee Silver

            May 24, 2000 at 9:23 am

            Re: Volunteer Work???

            It’s too hard to know what helps and what doesn’t. You’re right about not wanting to fight for someone else’s causes, though. Somehow, that just ends up feeling like you’re lying. I’ve never been a big fan of organized religion, either… it seems so fabricated most of the time.

            Toys for kids is a good thing. Kids need toys. They’re still to young to have lost every hope they’ve ever had, most of the time. And hope is a good thing.

            I’m rambling again 😉

          • eyean

            May 25, 2000 at 12:53 am

            Re: Volunteer Work???

            good morning.

            yes, like being sent to the front. back home, when one reaches the 4th year in highschool, most of the lads are required to train in the military reserves. then add another two years if you’re in college/uni. questions keep repeating in my mind. if it comes to war, we will all be called. and who will we be fighting against? uhm. fellow countrymen? grrr. one thing the military taught me, a good enemy is a dead enemy. why do they have to make killing machines out of these boys? awww. i’m ranting again. ;))

            other peoples causes seems romanticised at first. it seems attractive, positive and gives you a bouyant feeling. once in, there’s politics within, certain cliques are formed, clashing schools of thought. once again, you are caught, mesmerized by the ongoing debates. then later on, everything runs dry. it solves part of the problem, a piece of the puzzle. and then you become disappointed, because you want to see the whole picture puzzle solved. then you give in to resignation, like what am i here for? back to square one, the passive human.

            maybe mother nature has plans of her own.

  • mithoviel

    May 24, 2000 at 3:43 am

    The one thing in the world that makes me happiest is making other people happy….making people smile or laugh…you can’t beat that feeling. Though sometimes you have to be selfish and act in your best interest…look out for number one, so to speak. Not everyone looks out for YOUR best interest.