What comes after disaster fatigue?

This morning I woke up and like many of us, read about another mass shooting. This news pushed aside the already overwhelming tragedies of millions of people dealing with the aftermath of 3 devastating hurricanes. There are people dealing with toxic filth in Houston and people in desperate need of basic supplies that are sitting in ports in Puerto Rico (although the Teamsters are now on it). But have you forgotten about the horrible cluster of earthquakes in Mexico, or the powerfully destructive floods in South Asia? How well are you tracking the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar?

Despite it all, we still need to find the energy to get through the mundane details of our day to day lives. And heaven forfend there be our own struggles to deal with.

To quote the ever wise Joss Whedon, where do we go from here?

I have no answers. And that is what scares me the most. Marches and protests barely draw the attention of The Powers That Be, except to distract everyone from the whole purpose of the protest. Our congressional delegations, from both houses and both parties, (with few exceptions, thank you Ron Wyden!) are standing by uselessly while millions of children lose health insurance and our administration puts up barriers to prevent adults from signing themselves and their families up for the ACA. Obviously letter and postcards campaigns have failed (but please keep them up anyway!)

I have undergraduates in my class at SUNY that have never seen a congress that focuses on getting anything done. As far as they know, true bipartisanship is a myth. When they finally step into leadership positions of their own, they will have no positive role models, regardless of whether they go into the public or private sectors. We are setting them  (and therefore ourselves) up for ongoing failure.

Almost every pundit and journalist whose integrity I trust has written a version of this post recently. They are well beyond suggesting recommendations for how we move forward as a country. We are all left to bemoaning the horrors to people who are feeling as lost and helpless.

So knowing that these are all useless reminders of a truth we are all too aware of, why did I write this post anyway? Let me assure you, it was not for catharsis. I feel worse than I did when I started typing. Perhaps it is because I feel a need to let future generations who live in the dystopian world we are leaving them that there were people who cared. We wanted to help, we just didn’t know how.

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