“Action is the antidote to despair.”
– Joan Baez

I have struggled for the last (far too many) years now, trying to figure out how to balance my comfortable and for the most part joyful personal life . . . with my utter despair and heartbreak at all the horrible things happening in the world around me. How can I manage my joy and this despair at the same time? How can I feel better? Where can I find hope? Who will lead us to a better future? What can I do? How can I make any difference at all?

I don’t have any answers, friends.


But, as I learned from Mr. Rogers, I’ll keep looking for my helpers, and gleaning what I can from their words. One voice of reason for me has been Sharon McMahon (you may know her as @SharonSaysSo of Instagram fame) who has these words to say . . . 

“When the world seems dark and full of terrible news . . . do something small and imperfect. It’s not your job to fix it all. But if we do for one person what we wish we could for everyone . . . think of how much we would change.

The antidote to despair is action. When you feel overwhelmed by bad news, instead of thinking about it nonstop like a hamster on a wheel, or choosing to ignore it because you can’t see a way to fix it and you’re only one person, do something small and imperfect. Do for one person what you wish you could do for everyone.

Bring one person a meal.

Bring one homeless veteran some warm socks.

Drop off toiletries at one domestic violence shelter.

Contribute to one GoFundMe.

If we all do something small and imperfect, we will make far more change than waiting until the perfect plan appears.

Because we ARE the plan.
Giving doesn’t just benefit the recipient. Giving changes the giver.

We’re the plan. And we may learn to build the plane while flying it, but let’s get this airborn and see where it takes us.”

– Sharon McMahon, @SharonSaysSo

I set out here, on this blog and with these advent messages . . . looking for hope, and hoping to bring you some. I think, though, I’m finally understanding that . . . I need to stop looking for it, and start creating it.

As we near the end of this Advent Calendar of Comfort and Joy, maybe you’ll join me in committing to do . . . small and imperfect somethings . . . that, together, will make the world a better place. 

Because . . . as it turns out . . . we ARE the plan.


If you’re wondering what this “advent calendar” is all about, you can read my “intro” post here.