A LIST OF SMALL THINGS
Words by Ellen Tannam
Well. This has been quite a few days. The American election that so many people thought was just gas meme fodder actually led to some grim things happening. Very poor show indeed. To be honest, it was hard to think of anything to write or think full stop in the last while.
For the entire year of 2016, a weird dystopian fog has descended, blurring what is grim reality and what could be mistaken as an outlandish plot for an apocalypse movie. This past week, I have spent a lot of time scrolling through Twitter, confronted with videos and images of the bigoted behaviour that that weird orange prick seems to have emboldened. After despairingly eating cereal for a while and going on long walks with my dog, I started to think. Small things. Practical things, I mean.
So what is there that we can do to try and make the world less reminiscent of a freshly-pissed-on tent at a music festival? Well, here are some things that you can do, right now, that will make a positive dent in what seems like a terrifying and hostile fireball of horrors.
Donate to, or get involved with the Abortion Rights Campaign. They are an excellent group of people who are fighting the good fight for free safe and legal abortion in Ireland. Whether you can spare a fiver, or want to attend an open meeting, find out more here.
Irish Refugee Council
The IRC are doing great work in the face of the ongoing refugee crisis and with Ireland’s dire record of direct provision, now is a good time to donate your time or money. One-off membership is €20 but you can also donate another sum, depending on your own funds. You can also organise an event in your own community to help those most in need right now.
If you are short on cash, but have some spare time, the Volunteer Ireland website is an excellent resource. From Foróige to Pieta House, there are a myriad of worthy organisations that you could help with just a couple of hours a week.
Take care of yourself
If the idea of marching, crowds, and other forms of traditional activism makes you nervous, there are other ways you can make your voice heard. If you are unhappy with an article in a publication, take two seconds to email the editor and explain why.
It can be easy to go online or read any newspaper and despair that you can’t fix everything. You can only do what’s best for you at the time you’re doing it. If that’s giving money, great. If it’s volunteering with an organisation, also excellent. If it gets a bit too much, turn off your notifications for news apps on your phone and eat your favourite comfort food (mine is potato waffles FYI) while watching ASMR videos, whatever your poison is. All we can do at this point is our best, and that’s different for everyone.