In a November 2017 study, a survey by the American Psychological Association showed that 59% of Americans believe this is the lowest point that they can remember in our nation’s history. Go online today, and the news tends to service this anxiety. Factors one could blame include sensationalism, the clickbait economy of the internet, and readers that don’t have time to understand anything beyond a headline, but really, there isn’t anything to blame other than honesty. The true and frightening fact is that the world is a broken and upsetting place. Charlottesville, North Korea, powerful men in the media, and our own President cast a dark shadow. People should be upset by the news they find online.
But I’m not upset. At least, not completely.
On Friday, February 9th, KT and I witnessed a victory. Our friends and family passed the monetary goal that we’d set up for a race against cancer. We didn’t expect it to happen so quickly. I already had an expectation to plug a monthly payment to get us there. Don’t get me wrong, I cling to the Winston Churchill quote, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” I will still be making my monthly payment against cancer, but with the helpfulness of others pushing us past the goal so early, each of these payments now feels more like celebration than a responsibility. Seeing so many friends and family members step up to do something good has filled me with hope for the people of this world.
Yes, the world is still a broken place, fractured by disease, race, gender, poverty and other cracks in society’s foundations, but in the three weeks since KT announced on Facebook that we’d be running for cancer fundraising, the internet has appeared to be an incredible place. I look at my fundraising page and see a family member showing they care. I read a Facebook message from someone feeling uplifted by our efforts while their mother is in a cancer fight. I read an email from a high school friend who’s sending prayers along with a donation. The news that I’m getting online is that there are dozens of us trying to fill in the cracks.
KT and I went to dinner at Brewery Bhavana in Raleigh not long ago (if you’ve never been, I recommend the Xiao Long Bao and the Scallion Pancakes. Incredible stuff). We’d already started receiving donations, and we were struggling to show our gratitude for such moving efforts from others. I am coming off cancer, beginning a marriage, adjusting to working again; trying to show people how much their support had meant to me began to look daunting. At the end of our meal, we opened our fortune cookies, and mine gave me a deep sense of relief.
Needing help leaves a person feeling helpless. That’s natural. Getting help proves a reason for hopefulness. That’s supernatural.
Keep finding a way to fill in the cracks, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts. – Dust & KT