I learn a lot in my line of work as a Young Adult Volunteer, and a lot of it pisses me off.
Every day, I find out about something else that is wrong with the world. Or specifically, an aspect of the American way that somehow seems to screw up someone’s life.
I talk to the guests of the shelter I work at who are upset about the terrible food everywhere. I talk to the members of my church who are annoyed about animal treatment in factory farms. I talk to my housemate who can’t stand rampant food waste.
It seems the more I know, the more I find out, the more injustice I become aware of, the more anger I find I am capable of possessing inside of rapidly beating heart.
I get so mad.
It doesn’t help that outside of first hand experiences of the people around me, there are blogs, news articles, and documentaries telling me how more things are falling apart.
The bees are dying, people don’t have access to food, we don’t know what GMOs/pesticides/climate change is doing to our food.
It’s too much.
And so I have to focus. I have to remember that all of this information is set up to make me upset. I have to hope that it leads me (and others) into action.
I have chosen to focus on food. My work every day revolves around the fact that people are hungry. That issue alone is enough of an anger-inducing head scratcher for a life time of work, and it is where I have chosen to live for the year.
I hate the junk food found on most food pantry shelves, and I really hate the food system that allows its excess to end up on those shelves. I hate the food waste, I hate the bland tomatoes, I hate that a livable wage is seen as a privilege.
So I talk about it, I blog about it, I go to work, I nag people about composting, and I just try and do something good. Because it’s working. There are less hungry people.
I will run with that good news until the next thing pisses me off.
Find your cause, learn your facts, and do something.