Friday, August 3, 2018

Overwhelming Sadness Cured or How I Learned to Relax and Save the World

This is not a post about depression, but it could be.  It seems these days that everywhere we turn the problems we thought we were solving are now worse than ever.  From policies that separate children from parents that do irreparable damage, to knowing that folks in Flint, Michigan still don't have clean drinking water and the global war machine, it feels like a nightmare from which we might never wake up.  And then I started reading the New York Times long piece on how we missed our best opportunity to halt climate change.  It's just too much. The feelings of despair are real and I wonder every single day how I can make a difference in my small piece of the world or will I just be crushed by this feeling of utter helplessness?

Enter Ralph Nader.  For those of you who just rolled your eyes let me point something out to you about Ralph that you might not know - when you get compensated by an airline when they bump you from a flight either in flight vouchers or cash he's the one you can thank.  He successfully sued Allegheny Airlines in 1972 when he was bumped from a confirmed flight and now the airlines have to compensate us.  He's always fighting for the average person to be treated fairly by the powerful.

In August 2016 Ralph Nader released his book, Breaking Through Power, that offers real solutions to big problems.  Have you got 6 hours a week to volunteer?  Turns out you can change the world.  I read this book at the start of summer and it's my go to when I think the world is ending.  In the book Ralph lists organizations that are doing the hard work of changing the world, but they need us and our 6 hours a week.

Breaking Through Power is a short read, and I won't try to recreate it here, but I highly recommend spending a few hours with it and then deciding where you want to spend your six hours of volunteering each week so we can save the world.

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