There’s a psych term—”compassion fatigue”—that I’m going to borrow for the purposes of this post. What it typically refers to is the burnout experienced by caregivers: people who spend their lives making other people’s lives more manageable, and I’m not sure there’s more honorable work out there. For our purposes, though, we’re going to give it a new meaning. Something like:
“The world is so messed up, in so many ways, that sometimes I feel like there’s nothing I can actually do about any of it.”
Except you can! You totally can. If there’s one thing the last year and a half has shown us, it’s that the little guy isn’t taking it sitting down anymore. As everyone knows, there have been massive uprisings all over the world—many of them inspiring, a few downright baffling, and some of them tragic, too. It’s no wonder people feel a little hopeless sometimes, or if not hopeless than maybe helpless. But Pollyanna over here is a big believer in the idea that change starts with one person, and while you might not be able to move mountains alone—or, at the very least, stop people from blowing them up to extract coal from them—it doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel. It’s true we can’t control the political and economic forces that create most of these situations in the first place, and I’m not suggesting we flatten the truth in order to make ourselves feel better about what awesome do-gooder citizens we are for taking small actions—but I do think small actions, when noticed by other people, beget other small actions. Sometimes, momentum builds. Sometimes, good things come of this.
And so we want to know: What in the world at large—and remember that includes your own backyard as well as your own medicine cabinet or makeup bag—are you the most fired up about? If you can also share what you do, or would like to do, about it, be our guest.
I’ll go first.
I can be a little promiscuous when it comes to my passions. I don’t love ’em and leave ’em—the issues that get me the most engaged have been with me for a very long time—it’s just that there are several of them. Plus, I’m admittedly pretty emotional by nature (this can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the circumstances), so I often encounter news things I care about (and maybe cry about) but don’t know what to do about. But I’m always looking for more effective ways to be proactive about the things I care about most. For me, so far anyway, that has come down to writing about stuff and sharing information.
Here are my two big ones right now:
The ingredients in cosmetics. What I do about that is…well, it’s what we do here every day. Education, and education done in a fun way, is what we’ve decided is the best way to spread the word and help people out. Women and men sharing information about making healthy, safe and environmentally responsible choices—what could be better? And our beloved readers are a huge part of that, since we’re stealing your tips all the time.
What’s happening in Tibet. Off topic for a beauty blog! If you aren’t hip to it, you can read more about it here, here, here and many other places. Or you might just set up a Google alert, if it’s of interest to you. Because this is such a hugely underreported story, all I can think to do about it at this point is tweet about it and mention it here. I’m working on what else I could do about it. In the meantime, I was happy when I got an email the other day from an old friend telling me he’d never given much thought to Tibet but was now obsessively following what’s going on simply because he saw a few mentions of it on Twitter. Twitter is annoying! Also useful, though.
The truth is, there are many others, and they run the gamut from what’s going on right now with reproductive rights, to the sorry state of public housing, to the fact that fancy restaurants still have bluefin tuna on their menus—but I’m not doing much about those issues right now so I’ll bite my tongue.
What about you? What issue or cause are you the most fired up about right now?