I could never understand what my grandparents did while the Holocaust was going on. My grandfathers were in the Navy, but my grandmothers and everyone else here in America, how did they just go on living everyday? How did they eat dinner?
Then I sat in Mrs. DiDiego’s sixth grade social studies class while the Gulf War went on. I did an oral report on Monaco. I learned about the ancient Egyptians. I made a cardboard sarcophagus that was really bad while these really bad things were going on.
Darfur happened while I as bar hopping in New York City.
I adopted a soldier serving in Iraq in 2007. I went to Kmart on my lunchbreak, downstairs from my office building on 9th Street at J.Crew, and bought him things like socks and dvd’s and dumb things like yo-yo’s and self-adhesive mustaches. I’d ship them off at the post office, off to his awful place, then go buy a chai latte and return my place of stressing out over which model for pants should we use for the May launch four months away.
Babies, it’s all very messed up.
…Last night I sat watching coverage of the civil war in Syria on Anderson Cooper. I saw an image of a 13-year-old boy who had been tortured and then killed and his body shipped back to his parents. I cried “no!” and changed the channel to Million Dollar Decorators. I couldn’t take it. But like a child watching something he shouldn’t be, I kept sneaking peaks back. Finally, I put the channel back on and stuck with it, deciding, I must know.
I joined a book club. Not only is it great because I get to read but it’s also putting me back in touch with society, real people, I forgot that I can actually talk to adults! (Kind of.) The other night we were discussing a recent segment on 60 Minutes about a survivor from a North Korean prison camp. How is this going on?? we said. How can we not stop this?? Someone said, “I think, I have a lot of free time, shouldn’t I be doing something about this?” We nodded our heads in agreement.
Shouldn’t we be doing something?
We all want to do something!
What can we do, shout stop? STOP! Shout it from the mountaintops, stop fighting! Stop hurting each other! Why are you doing this, over power? You’re right, they’re wrong, so what?
…There I sat watching Anderson Cooper, wrapping Christmas presents for the families we adopted for charity. As I curled ribbons I thought, I can make a nice Christmas for someone. I can make this little girl happy.
Maybe that’s all I can do.