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Beirut, #Paris, Nigeria, #Mali, #Syria : what can You do to help?

Madness has overtaken our world: no question about it.

Innocent civilians in nations across the world are either being bombed, shot, and/or taught to fear and hate. Just hours ago, the same old pattern: in Mali this time: terrorists swarming a building, taking hostages, shooting civilians.

Like others, I’ve taken my outrage and pain over this to social media. I’ve written about the value of compassion before, and spoken about some of my heroes doing wonderful work, here and here.

In this dark hour, all I can think of is holding my friends and family close, and being kind to strangers. If you already support a charity, I can only suggest redoubling your efforts, as some of us are trying to do. We can be a positive difference in the world, and though helping someone in need in USA or Japan or UK or India or Singapore or Malaysia or Europe will not directly help those struggling with terrorism in Syria or Lebanon or Mali or Paris,  your positivity will have its butterfly effect.

Like this Dad says to his son : They may have guns, but we have flowers. A few million of us who’ve watched this video, agree.

Children of ProjectWhySo instead of growling at each other on social media (Should we take in refugees? Are all Muslims violent? Should we only take in Christian Refugees? ) , I urge everyone who is in a position to physically or financially help out those in need, to do so.

Now, more than ever. Teach the children of this world about Compassion. Teach them how hating each other is like the nose hating the toes for being different.

One of the organizations my support goes to is Projectwhy in New Delhi, India, about which I’ve written here.

If you want to support a genuine organization trying to help children with a few dollars (as little as 5 dollars or Euros would help), where each cent of your money will go to the kids themselves, donate here. I’ve supported them for years, and seen them closely.

This place is run by a woman with a large heart, exactly the kind that can protect us from guns, with flowers. Anouradha Bakshi teaches these kids to see with the eyes of the Heart.

Or, find another place, people, or cause to add your positive energy to. Do something for a person or animal or plant without concern for your own material benefit. We cannot fight darkness, we need to light a candle in order to make it melt away.

To all of you, my blog family, I hold you in my heart, I send you my love,  I send you joy, and the strength to kiss guns with flowers.

Has the recent spate of attacks all over the world affected you? How has it made you feel? Where do you think a concrete solution lies? Do you have a few dollars to spare for these kids from Projectwhy ? Do you think the answer lies in what we teach our children?

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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • The hate a few people have for others, doesn’t change anything. It only adds to the vicious cycle and grows on. May God bless us all.

  • dgkaye says:

    Beautiful D. Yes, that little boy was truly touching when he said ‘we have flower’, who wouldn’t have felt the compassion. It’s wonderful so many are opening their hearts after this tragedy. Canada (where I live) will be taking in the first 10,000 refugees before year’s end, and 25,000 more next year. Many here are donating clothes to depots, in preparation for the first load of refugees coming to a country with a very cold winter. Talk about culture shock. 🙂

  • Julia Lund says:

    I read this week somewhere that we cannot have peace in the world until we have peace in our hearts. I’ve always believed that change can only happen one heart at a time, starting with mine.

  • Indeed, a conscious action in the sphere of our influence is often worth more than a 1000 words that just make us more empty.

  • I’m not having any luck with my comments on WordPress today, but I’ll try.
    Here it’s all turned political a sad comment because I know it isn’t the majority!

  • Peace peace in is all we need in our country Nigeria, Africa and the world at large

  • aside from the butterfly effect, i find strength of perseverance in the “small” efforts I make with the notion of six degrees of separation. Thank you for this wonderful post, and for the inspiring video.

  • macjam47 says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I agree!

  • bikerchick57 says:

    I guess you already know how I feel about all of this madness and I share your belief that giving of yourself to others, financially or with time, is the best way to show love and compassion toward humankind.

  • S J Douglas says:

    Thank you for sharing about the charity that has your heart. You are right on! I am thankful for our soldiers, but for the rest of us, the best way to fight is with love and caring for each other. Prepare ourselves and our households so that we can be in a position to help others. God bless!

  • You do great work here. If we could get many more thinking like this, the world will greatly improve. Keep up this good work.

  • A great post.

    I agree that everyone should learn to care about something. If everyone does a little then the whole World will become a better place.

  • smt222 says:

    If this ends here. What is the purpose of the weapons. War?

  • smt222 says:

    It’s a conspiracy theory or what. The America’s game or what.

  • Excellent advice… and comfort. I was feeling helpless and that the few pounds I send here and there would make no difference, but your encouragement has given me new incentive. This is well worth reading too

  • These children that you are talking about them so beautiful, are brain washed and learning to become suicide bomber. I am sorry to say that I have no compassion for these refugees.

  • Sha'Tara says:

    Preface: the following comment is all “in my opinion” only. First, no cause can be opposed by any other cause. A terror-based cause cannot be weakened with a peace-based cause. I religious cause cannot be de-fanged with a counter-religious based cause, and so on. What you resists persists. I no longer support any cause. If someone wants to “help” others in their own neighbourhoods, let that person do so. If self-motivated and empowered individuals wish to “join up” with that effort, let them do so. But no cause. No label. No institution, however well intended. One institution is only the enemy of another institution. Competition. Having said that about causes, I concur with your analysis of the situation. What needs to happen is for individuals to allow their innate sense of compassion and empathy to surface and allow themselves to work with that, to risk even their own <>lives in doing so. No need for travelling or money or special skills: only a desire to live compassionately. No matter where that is done it will prove to be a formidable challenge without the false support of some institution, or group. But no substantial change will ever, ever, result from groups or causes. That’s historically demonstrated. Some would pit Christianity against Islam, yet history clearly shows Christianity to have passed through the same madness now exhibited by ISIL et al, and that madness is dormant, not dead. How quickly they forget, or how sad they never bothered learning that. No change will ever come from being a follower or supporter. Look at the Jesus story, Gandhi, Buddha. The earth is not better for their passage. Nor is the earth particularly going to hell in a hand basket at this moment: under man’s tutelage, it always has and will until each human being independently and through self-empowerment decides to change her/himself and literally become compassion. Not so incidentally, Damyanti, that is where joy hides: in self-empowered compassion. Know joy by this: when it makes you feel good about yourself, and it certainly will because you will no longer worry about your own life, it will not be a cheap burst of emotional good, but a growing and permanent healing good. And whether your world hears or heeds, or fails to do so, will make no difference to you for compassion is who and what, you have become. That’s a quick glimpse into man’s future beyond the current plunge into a survivalist nightmare.

  • Phyllis Ring says:

    Sharing – widely. Absolutely wonderful. Thank you.

  • I have been trying to explain this to my friends. If we take care of those in our communities, the entire world will be a better place. It often seems overwhelming when we look at the whole world, it only takes small steps where we are to have that butterfly effect.

  • Laurie Welch says:

    Very well said. We must do what we can where we are. Even it means ‘just’ making sure we acknowledge every person we meet. A small act like a hello or smile goes a long way in making a person feel noticed.

  • I couldn’t agree more with you, Damyanti. Thank you for writing this. 🙂

    I saw the video of the French boy and his father the other day, too. I don’t think I’ve seen anything more precious.

  • Between Paris and my home country (Nigeria) I just feel drained.

  • I do believe what George Washington said in the war that birthed America (rephrased): “The best offense is a good defense”.

    The question remains: What defends us best? Education? Tolerance? Force? All of the above? I have no idea.

  • K.A.I says:

    Reblogged this on Momentum.

  • Yes, yes and yes to everything you said. Thanks Damyanti!

  • That’s a great initiative, Damyanti. I would like to contribute. It’s a mad world. Half the battle is lost when we label a community. It doesn’t help the cause of fighting terror.

  • RSGullett says:

    And He said, “See to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not go after them. When you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately.” Luke 21:8-9. In Luke 21, Jesus describes the end times quite bleakly, but He also says this in verse 13: “It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony.” When these great calamities occur, Christians should be first to lend aid and sympathy, not judgment and condemnation.
    Yes the world is going to hell in a hand-basket; so why are we making it worse rather than showing God’s love to these people.

  • We all need to step up with kindness, support, and peace.

  • Redoubling my efforts sounds real good. We give to two charities, but we will do more as we can. There is pain in my heart for those children’s lives lost in Nigeria and people just at a concert in Paris. God please help us! Thanks for your sharing and caring words.

  • Damyanti all of us feel the pain that the world is undergoing right now. Not the attacks as much as the divide they are creating.. I will surely check this organisation and if it evokes me will contribute 🙂

  • michnavs says:

    I agree with you on this…very well said..

  • Harbans says:

    God knows when this madness will end.

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