Monday, February 1, 2010

A Hard One

This month's book is tough for me. I'm not going to lie. I'm a total wimp.

I used to be able to learn about the suffering in the world without wanting to close my eyes and plug my ears. I felt empathy and a desire to serve.

Then I became a mother.

Now when I hear about babies who have no one to take care of them, or who wake up to both their parents dead, or whose mothers are so malnourished that they don't produce any milk and so the baby starves too, well, let's just say I weep. I weep. I get a headache from weeping. Then I weep some more.

I would read a few chapters of this book, and then need to resist the urge to wake up my sleeping children and cuddle them and tell them I'll always be here for them.

I am so blessed.


And I feel a bit guilty. Why am I so lucky? So easily I could have been born to less privilege, wealth, health, freedom, and opportunity.

So the question is, what can I do?

What can I do to alleviate some of the suffering in the world?

How can I feel only humbly thankful rather than guilty for my numerous blessings?

See you all soon. Looking forward to hearing about your experience with this book.


  1. I know what you mean about wanting to do something instead of being one of those people described as "keeping their hemlines above rising waters."

    I felt so much frustration and anger toward the situation. The money and politics of it all made me feel so helpless.

  2. I wish I could be at the group tomorrow to discuss this book. I love this book! What I most appreciate about the book is right on the front...there is no me without you. It is about how we are all interconnected with each other. When one group in society suffers or goes without, we all suffer and go without as that group has something meaningful to offer... as we all do.

    While we might not all take in orphans from an impoverished country, we can all do something large or small to make a difference in someone's life...put an arm around someone who is grieving, read to a small child or someone on bed rest, listen to someone who needs to be heard.

    I work with many families who have adopted children from foster care. One of the most meaningful days of my job was telling a 16 year old girl--whose dream in life was to reconnect with her biological mother when she turned 18--that her mother died. I felt honored to sit with this young girl as she wept over the loss of her mother. While it was small in a global sense, to this young girl it was huge. That day brought a lot of meaning to me and I am forever connected with this child in a small way.

    One of my favorite quotes from Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, "I am what I am because of who we all are." I love this! Please post from group. I'd love to hear the response of the book from the dropouts.

  3. Jodee (aka "Anonymous"),
    I can feel your goodness through this anonymous post...I knew it was you! You should sign in through your google account so we know it's you! Let me know if you need help with that.

    I love how you pulled in the title. I think it's true that we can't hear about suffering and not be affected. Thank you for your thoughts! And thank you for inspiring me to recommend this book. It proved a necessary read for me in my life.