(Yes, it’s a lyric from the musical Hair. Also, I cribbed the idea for the title from my friend Ziggy. Ziggy, if you’re reading this, thanks for the inspiration.)
Ok, so, on Monday there was a suicide bombing attack following an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. The concert was attended, according to the various news reports, by a crowd that seemed to be majority young people, even some children.
That is some fucked up, repugnant shit.
There isn’t another way to describe it.
It is truly horrible.
In the days since the attack, I have seen a lot of posts and articles, and tweets, and whatnots offering thoughts and prayers.
I know why we say those things. We say them because we feel something, and because we wish we could do something.
Any one of us with a soul or a heart, or even basic human compassion feels that way.
But I am getting sick of the deluge of thought and prayers.
Another thing I firmly believe is that one should not carp too loudly about a problem unless one is also willing to offer a solution.
So here’s my solution, a solution that will let you take action.
Do something more than offer your thoughts and prayers.
In my experience, Thoughts and Prayers are a barrier to action. Either we’re too lazy or too ignorant to actually do something, to act on that upwelling of compassion we feel. So, I’m going to lower the barrier of both those obstacles. After reading this, you will no longer be ignorant. I can’t do much about the lazy part, but I’ll try to make it as easy as I possibly can for you to actually do something.
If I’m not too technologically inept, this post will include some links to charities for victims of the Manchester attack. If you have the means, please donate. The funds will go a lot farther than your well-wishes and supplications to some supernatural power.
(If you don’t have the means, I will also have actions you, too, can take.)
Those are just a few charities. It took me less than 10 minutes on Google, if you want to look for others. (I gathered there are a lot of personal crowdfunding sites as well.)
But, you say, I don’t have any spare cash.
That’s fine. Your time and energy are just as valuable. Maybe more so.
So, here’s my suggestion for how to spend it:
Call, write, email – or all three – your representatives in Congress, House and Senate.
Here, I’ll help out with links to find out those too:
There you go.
What should you say to them? That’s up to you. But, if you guessed I was going to make some suggestions, you’d be the winner. (and don’t we all want to be winners?)
Here’s a list of topics:
* Encourage them to make every effort to stay in NATO.
* Encourage them to support refugees, from any country.
*Encourage them to do everything they can to stop the bombing, everywhere.
The last one is my favorite.
How would that help Manchester, you may be asking?
In the short term, not much, I’ll grant, but in the long term, it could make all the difference in the world.
There were a lot of children hurt and some killed during Monday night’s attack. There are a lot more killed whenever we drop bombs on urban areas, hospitals, schools, mosques. And that happens every day.
Even when we don’t drop bombs on heavily populated areas, we still do immeasurable damage to civilians.
Here’s a for instance: our President got all Morning-Wood over dropping the MOAB. The MOAB, (aka the Mother Of All Bombs), being our largest non-nuclear ordinance, has a blast radius of approximately 1 mile. A mile. And they dropped it to kill one mother fucker. In a 2 mile circle of destruction, do you think we might have killed a few innocent people? Maybe even some Children?
Of course we did.
(And. as our government still ostensibly represents us, that blood and death are on us – our responsibility.)
Now, don’t get me wrong here. I am not saying that if you’re not feeling and acting compassionately towards one group that you can’t be feeling and acting that way towards another. No.
I’m not that particular kind of asshole.
What I am saying is that children are children. Innocent civilians are innocent.
What I’m saying is: You have compassion enough to act on both their behalf’s.
There is enough in you, even the lowest of you, to act on the compassion for the suffering of all innocent people.
No matter where they are from or the color of their skin.
No matter what they believe about the supernatural, or not.
You feel the need to act, because you’re human, and decent. And because it’s the right thing to do.
There are people you can help.
People whose lives you can strive to make better just by taking the time to engage with your government representatives and tell them:
No more killing in my name.
You, yes you, can take ten minutes to make the world better.
It’s only ten minutes.
Might even be less.
Because Thoughts and Prayers mean Jack and Shit without the action to give them direction and shape.
Wishful thinking won’t make anything better.
But you might.
Little old you.