I went to Chinatown with my son. It was a ghost town with everything closed. Only a handful of restaurants were open.
We walked past an open restaurant with one family eating outside. The waiter brought them one of the dishes. As we walked past, the man at the table stood up, took his dish, and started walking behind us.
I thought it was a little awkward, but didn’t want to bother asking, so we just kept walking..As we passed by a homeless lady, I understood why. He knelt down and gave the homeless lady the meal. Seconds later, another dish came to the table, boxed up. The man also took that dish and gave it to the homeless lady.
This year, many of the problems in our world have been magnified so much more, both in awareness and in effect. If you’re like me, you feel helpless.
But in the most unhealthy way, we’ve released ourselves of any responsibility. We choose people to be angry at and blame. We think that change can only happen with certain people in power. We “do our part” by furiously reposting articles, videos, and memes.
We’ve tricked ourselves into believing that digital anger is a valid substitute for tangible compassion.
There’s certainly a place for debate, petition, advocacy, and protest. People in power do move the biggest levers.
But it has to be complimented with individual action. If our voices online aren’t equally matched by hands and feet offline, we don’t really care about change. We just love the dopamine shot of fake action..If I care about the homeless, I do need to be vocal and petition our leaders. But I also need to donate to local shelters and buy a meal for a homeless person.
This applies to any issue. Do more than shout online. Serve offline.