Monday, November 21, 2011

Reflection inspired by The Help

I've been reading The Help over these past few weeks, and I'm finally into the meat of the book. Tonight, I was struck by many different aspects of the story, but especially the way that people ignored the way that African Americans were treated. Everyone was taught to pretend that their real feelings didn't exist, so these women were treated like dirt, but made to smile like nothing was happening. This made me think about the areas of my life that I've done the same thing.
I know that I use the excuse "I'm too busy" or "I'm too tired" far too often. I pretend like those are reasons for me to ignore the problems I see around me. The Help sends out a cry, which resonated with me tonight. More than a cry for freedom and equality, it's a cry to feel. That's a problem that our world faces.
Our society is consumed with time. If we don't have something crammed into every single minute of our day, then we're wasting space. We allow ourselves to get sucked up into this vortex of time, and only experience minor emotions of pleasure. I know there's something wrong with this concept. We should never be too busy to feel any emotion, especially one that would cause us to act.
Many terrible things happen in this world because we allow them; we're "too busy" to stand up for what we believe in. Often times, the people who do find the time are ridiculed and looked down upon. Why? Why do the people who chose to show their passion have to be put down? And why are they abused by people that are "too busy" to raise a finger to help, but spend hours arguing? I'm not sure I'll ever understand.
The Help has certainly had an impact on me. Someday, I'd like to be able to inspire people the same way. I'd like to be able to put a lump in someone's throat, or give someone a pit-in-the-stomach feeling, and get them to act; I want to shake them out of apathy and stop them from making excuses. It's so much nicer to be able to get people to laugh about things, but sometimes we need to feel the raw emotions in order to be prepared for battle.
I'm really going to work on not being "too busy" to help people with the little things. I don't want to miss a moment where I could have reached out to someone, and made their world a little brighter. Since you're reading this, I know you care: I'm challenging you to do the same. Start with the small stuff, and seek out opportunities to do the big stuff. If everyone did this, I wonder what the world would look like.

God bless us all, and help us to stand up for what we believe, and feel real again.

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