In sixth grade, an English teacher talked to us about war. He said that his war experience wouldn’t be the same for us – because of the internet and technology. He said we’d never have to experience a draft, for instance. He said that women in this country would never have to fight in a war and that civilian casualties would eventually become a footnote in our history. My English teacher wasn’t woke.
Nonetheless, the small assurances I received from him in pre-adolescence felt true. They felt like a fact. He made it sound like this country, and the world had pivoted post-the Vietnam War. He might not have been right, but he was hopeful.
Managing Mental Health
In this time of heightened awareness of global suffering, not just by war but by a worldwide pandemic that won’t quit, I look for resources on how to manage mental health. After all, when a problem as big as war presents itself, so does helplessness and despair. In my experience, the antidote for despair has always been helping where I can. I read somewhere that if you are pulling at the strings that help move humanity forward in any way, don’t stop. Don’t stop pursuing the causes that speak to your heart and that drive you to do good in the world.
What Inspires You?
In 2019, my sisters and I started a nonprofit helping first-generation or immigrant students get to college. We began before a pandemic and long before the war in Ukraine. Nonetheless, this nonprofit gets me up in the morning and inspires me to do good in the world. It is the string towards justice that my sisters and I are pulling. It inspires me because it’s about my family’s story. It inspires me because if everyone had the opportunity to learn their history in a significant way; maybe civilian casualties really could become a footnote in our history.
What speaks to you? What is your antidote for despair in this time of global suffering? Commit to that thing; it helps.