As many already know, Raleigh was hit by some nasty tornadoes on Saturday night. Many were left without power, their homes, and their lives. Frustrated to have been without power for 18 hours, I have since grown grateful that that was the only infliction we faced. I have been very distracted the past few days because of the hurricane. I am vigilantly watching the news, the volunteer efforts, and the revitalization of a community. That is my therapist side, I suppose: a listener, observer, assessor.
I have been flooded with different emotions. I feel deeply saddened by the damage that has been done to beautiful downtown Raleigh. I have watched this city bloom over the past few years. It was heartbreaking to see hundred year old trees that have named the City of Oaks, torn from their roots, very new businesses forced to close and losing revenue, and a university cancel all classes for the remainder of the semester.
I feel inspired and proud when I see community efforts transpire.It thrills me to see our city take care of our city, crossing lines of cultural and economic diversity. I suppose this is also why I love the downtown area: because it represents that diversity.
I feel frustrated that we need devastation to come together in a united front. Without natural disasters, there are people without homes, without food, without power, without education. I know if we worked with the same passion and devotion, we could eliminate some of these problems.
I feel fearful that climate change is taking peoples’ lives on every continent.
I have been a bit distracted by all of these emotions, trying to figure out where my efforts would be most useful. I am ready to drop off a large bag of clothes as well as assist in a donation drive of clothes and toiletries. Schedule permitting, I may hop on a cleanup crew later this week. These are important, necessary efforts. But the burden on my heart to do more is still there. How do we motivate a world to make progressive change? Usually, I am OK with my part in mental health, wellness, & well-being. Be the Change, right? However, with plans of marriage and starting a family, I look at life differently.
So I ask you: How do you inspire others to make changes to social, economic, environmental, and educational changes that need to be made Now?