I have, in my possession, more than a little bit of useless information that will serve me well on Family Feud or Jeopardy one day. I put the well-being of myself, my husband and children at the forefront, making sure that everyone is well fed, well-groomed and well mannered before setting them free into the world. I find, though, that there's a little flame sputtering inside of me, gasping for some air so it can blossom into something more. That little flame is a desire to be fully invested in a cause, a campaign, something that is permanent and worthwhile. Something that has some weight behind it.
I can remember reading various magazines that profiled everyday people and celebs who, after being faced with a serious disease, become champions for awareness and eradication of said disease. Call me a cynic, but if they never fell ill in the first place, would they have come to be such a supporter after all? Through my membership in various organizations, I've given money, time, and energy to the March of Dimes, CASA, Heifer International, and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Thankfully, my family -- nuclear and extended -- has been healthy. The biggest challenge we've faced so far is a bout of contact dermatitis and while we've worked through it, I'm not called to be the face of prevention and care.
I do want to invest in something, though. I want to roll up my sleeves and become fully immersed in a subject and the ways volunteers can spread the word about it. Maybe because I recently re-wrote my will, I started thinking about my legacy and I want it to mean something.
I saw the above quote while trolling through tumblr one day and felt like the words reached through the screen, wrapped themselves around my heart and squeezed really, really hard. I try to be a role model for my children, for my friends children, for my friend even. I don't set out to do it every morning, mind you. I just do the best that I can with what I've been given. I'm fallible. I make mistakes. I snap at my kids, let my husband make is own dinner, and eat Cookie Butter right out of the jar with my fingers. Yeah, really. But I keep coming back to this flame flickering inside of me, this urge to want to do something, learn something, embrace something that gives me a sense of satisfaction that I'm not getting right now. I know that I'm capable of great things. I do great things every day. I also know that I'm capable of something more. I just have to find out what it is. I am desperate to know, because I truly want someone to look at me and say, "Because of you, I didn't give up."
There had been an article in Real Simple (my go-to mag) about how to ensure your charitable contributions are actually received and disseminated to their intended recipients. When you see things about sending five cents for clean water, or 20 cents a day feeding a hungry child, how do you really know where your money goes?
The real question is, what do I feel passionate about (clearly it's not grammatical correctness)? The usual suspects when it comes to charity and volunteering boil down the these:
2. Arts & Culture
5. Children and Families
6. Grassroots Initiatives (which I had to look up because it was SO not what I thought it was)
9. Water and Sanitation
10. Disaster Relief
They're all important. I can tie to myself to any and all of them, no matter how thin the thread. Which of them, though, is the one that speaks to me? Which of them is the one that will reach out and squeeze my heart so that I will give, participate, and not give up?
If there is a cause that speaks to you, please share it in the comments.