Monday, August 27, 2012

all you can do is do what you must

There was a time, and it's not really worth mentioning when the time was, but during that time, AL and I were roommates, and we had some friends who were marooned. They could not get back home. We had a big enough house at the time, and we invited anyone who was stuck to come on over. They went shopping in our neighborhood for a spare set of clothes, and took showers in our guest bathroom, and we fed them, then we made them extra beds, and they slept in our living room so they could go to work in the morning.

But even before then, this was something we knew in our bones. In my family, we stayed over each other's houses if something needed repairing or wasn't working. We thought nothing of it. In college, there was a chemical spill, and the largest of the dorms had to be temporarily evacuated. People were eventually placed in hotel rooms, but until they had arranged for it, there were students sleeping on the floor of my dorm room, using my bathroom, sharing our space.

It seems like the most basic of human instinct to me, this notion of, when things have gone wrong, offering shelter. And often, we can't really give it in the place where it's most needed, for various reasons. But it can still be extended when it might be of use.

I've a comfy brown couch, and a ceiling fan that keeps the air calm and breezy. In the last two weeks, four different people have come by and proceeded to pass out on that couch. It's not that comfortable. My visitors were just very tired and in need of a rest. Sometimes it's not enough, it doesn't make everything better. But it's something, and it's the something that I have the capability to do.

That's all you can really do, I find. Help the people around you, the ones willing to take your help, and hope it's enough to distract you from the other people- the ones you don't have the means to help or the ones who refuse to accept your help.

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