I am running for Ukraine. You can read about it here:
So far I have completed five total days, and I have run and walked a combination of 17.703 kilometers (around 11 miles). I’ve run about half of those and walked the other half.
The other day I was thinking about two helpful things we can do when we are overwhelmed by situations like Ukraine:
One: We can do nothing.
Two: We can do something.
On the one hand, it may seem odd to claim that both of these choices are helpful because they are the exact opposite. But I think both are legitimate ways to help. Here’s why.
We can do nothing. If you are like me you sometimes feel (or have felt) like it is your responsibility to have the answer for everything and to fix everything. This may be especially true for you if you struggle with perfectionism, are a first-born child, or struggle with feeling over-responsible for everything at times.
The bad news is that there is no way that we can fix all or even most of the world’s problems. To think that we can or should is to deny our human vulnerability. Sometimes the proper thing to do when we face suffering is to be quiet, to grieve, and to accept our vulnerability.
You can read more about vulnerability here.
The good news is that doing nothing can be a way that we show ourselves compassion when we face suffering, which strengthens our ability to show compassion to others. And doing nothing can also help us create space in our life so that we can figure out wise and creative steps to take.
And this leads me to my next point.
We can do something. It is easy to believe that unless we are doing huge, grand things all the time, our efforts are worth little. I have found, however, that taking even the smallest steps has a way of setting things in motion. That’s because even our smallest actions have a ripple effect in the world.
So, when we take action aimed at the good, we often create ripple effects for good.
For example, as I have shared about my running with other people, they have shared with me things are doing for Ukraine. And this inspires me more. I have also started to think about how I can run in future running events to raise money for other causes.
When we take action with the intent of doing good in the world, it almost always brings more good into our life
By the way, on a related not, here is a video I watched with my business ethics class today. It is about a man who faced suffering that broke his heart. He didn’t know what to do. And then he figured out how to use the power of business to address the problem and bring more goodness into the world.
He first did nothing. Then he did something.
It’s a cool video, and I think you might like watching it.