I was watching BBC news as I ate my lunch. It was painful for me to see the report about the terrorist attack in Egypt and the factory collapse in Afghanistan. It grieved me to watch the special report on the ostracizing of ebola survivors in Sierra Leone. In the news here in the U.S., there are daily reports of violence of neighbors against neighbors. To say that it makes me sick with sorrow to be witness to all these things really is not strong enough to describe what happens to me.
I know that it is easy to feel like you are utterly helpless to do anything about the overwhelming mass of tragedy in the world. I, too, have felt that despair upon looking at the news and seeing endless reports of the awful things that happen in the world. It is possible, however, to make a difference. Help at least one person when you have the means.
It may be something as simple as helping someone carry their groceries to their car. It may be something as little as picking up litter left on the sidewalk. For my part, over the last year, I have been making hats for the preemie babies at one of the hospitals up in Rochester. It doesn't take me much time and, in the grand scheme of things, it really is time I would have spent watching cat videos or similar nonsense on Youtube. What is utterly inconsequential effort on my part, however, helps one premature infant at a time get a better shot at life and good health.
Small acts of compassion, kindness, and good will add up. For my example, working on those little, tiny hats in my idle moments has lead to donating near to 100 hats over the last year. The way to push back against the tides of tragedy in the world are not great and grand gestures. There is no one enemy to face off against and conquer for the good of the world. There is no one grand solution to the world's problems. It is through many small gestures of help towards others that we might make a change in the world. If each of us went out today and did something to help one person, we could make a significant difference in our community just based on our sheer numbers.
Please, help someone today. Help me push back against the tragedy of the world.
Today, I am wearing a black pashimina done up in a half crown style. To recreate this style, take a pashmina and fold it width wise until it fits comfortably on your head and will not slip off when tied. Center the scarf on your head and pull back the tails. Tie an overhand knot at the back. Divide the tails of the scarf, placing one free to sit on your shoulder. Twist the second tail and wrap over the crown of the head, tucking the end it at the knot in the back.
In case anyone is curious, the shawl I am wearing is my prayer shawl that I crocheted with yarn that was spun by my mother-in-law. It is a basic rectangular shawl. You can recreate it with sport weight acrylic yarn and it will not felt like mine did when it got washed improperly. With an 'H' hook, make your foundation chain of 45 stitches with two additional stitches to turn. Make a half double crochet stitch into the fourth chain stitch from your hook. Repeat across the row. Proceed with half double crochet stitches until your shawl is of desired length. Then make a knot and break the yarn. Wash and block out to final dimensions.
When your shawl is complete, take it in hand and ask that your deity of choice blesses it for the purpose you will wear it for. This may be to give comfort during times of distress or to assist in focus whilst engaged in prayer, or something entirely different. My shawl is blessed to provide comfort in times of distress and grief, as well as assisting me in maintaining focus whilst praying. It is a multi-purpose prayer shawl, I suppose.