One of the hardest things to reconcile is your own infinitesimal insignificance in the grand scheme of the world with the pretty significant impact you can have on a group of people depending on how you choose to spend your time. The flash-to-bang ratio of the thought process that goes from “Ooh that’s a nice sweater” to “Here, have $45” can also benefit someone else.
The water in Flint, Michigan, is now so contaminated with lead that, according to the EPA, it can be classified as toxic waste. The water in Troy, Michigan, a town 45 minutes away, has lead levels of 1.1 parts per billion (ppb). That’s pretty OK. Flint’s water is up to at least 27 ppb; in some homes levels are as high as 5,000 ppb. The highest discovered by a team from Virginia Tech was 13,000 ppb. The water that pours out of fire hydrants and kitchen faucets is as brown as tea and smells to high heaven. The effects of lead poisoning are irreversible. Some children have started losing their hair.
Here is a link to Flint’s public schools: http://www.flintschools.org/ A pack of 35 water bottles on Amazon costs $20. That’s a pretty cheap impulse buy. This is where the impulse part of the brain kicks in: you know that there is a horrible happening to people in your country, and you realize that, if you were in their situation, how much you would want a bottle of water, and then it hits you that you can actually send that water yourself. So I sent a school in Flint a box of water.
Doing something, just the simple act of standing up and showing up, is how any change happens. As Dr. King said,”The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But…the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”