My husband and I dropped a piece of furniture down our stairs. The cabinet door ripped like a loose limb, tearing gouges into the flesh of our walls.
Within three minutes, my husband and I had killed our cabinet, damaged our home, and hurt our backs and knees. All because of one of my remodeling whims.
I partially blame my husband, who gives in to said whims, and goes along with my fanciful notions of being a superhero. Yes, I think I am Superwoman (a fairy tale I often aspire to), able to lift any piece of furniture placed in front of me. But the other day I had a revelation – perhaps I am not her, at least based on the broken cabinet in the hallway, and the torn walls by the stairs.
We pulled the cabinet back to the top floor and surveyed the damage. Walls needed puttying, texturizing, and paint. Furniture needed to be replaced. I went to bed, sick.
The next morning, I turned on the computer, determined to find a new cabinet to replace the old. Before I had a chance to look, the news of Hurricane Harvey popped in front of me.
Harvey had made a mess, damaging homes and ruining lives. Video after video spun before me, men sobbing, children teary-eyed and fearful, women clinging to babies while wading through waist-deep water.
People, lost, broken, homeless. Nothing but the clothes on their backs. I began to cry.
Here I sat, in my comfortable, air-conditioned house, sipping tea and eating breakfast, while others were hungry and homeless. As I lamented over a broken cabinet, others watched their worlds wash away.
The cabinet lay in the hall, broken and torn, a piece, I realized, that was rarely used. A piece we didn’t really need.
I wondered about the cost of a new cabinet, and measured it against helping someone else. What could that money do?
It wouldn’t be a lot, certainly not enough to save the world, or even a large city. But maybe it could help a life or two. A blanket, a few meals, perhaps a little medical care.
I turned off the computer and walked away. The cabinet no longer mattered. There were lives out there, more tattered and torn than any piece of furniture I’d ever seen.
If you are able, I encourage you to give.
These are two of my favorite organizations:
But there are many, many more. This article in New York Times contains a list of other charitable organizations.
Before giving, always check the legitimacy of any charity.
Have a beautiful day.