Blog & Podcast

Guilt is a Useless Emotion

This morning I was discussing with a friend the tragedy that is occurring in Haiti.  She was saying that while she tries to wake up each morning feeling grateful–she struggled this morning with the overwhelming guilt of all the blessings she has in her life.  How, she wondered, could she be struggling with the question of living happier when people were dying from a natural disaster?

As I have discussed here before, life is messy.  In the midst of living happier, we can be struck with a tragedy so horrific it brings us to our knees in disbelief.  It is at these times we need to act, to grieve, to research, to spread the word, to mobilize.  Unfortunately, it is also easy during these times, for us to get paralyzed by our own guilt.  As my mom always told me, guilt is a useless emotion.  It doesn’t serve anyone and in reality prevents us from making real change.  To put it bluntly, guilt is a way for us to feel bad about something without really engaging in making it any better.  Our guilt doesn’t help the Haitian people get water, or health care.  Our guilt doesn’t give them food or resources.  Our guilt does nothing but paralyzes us.

What we CAN do is be grateful for all we have–be grateful for our blessings AND find as many ways possible to give back to the people of Haiti and anyone else we know who is in need.  We can do both, gratitude and giving.

Chris Sacca has compiled Six Ways you can help the people of Haiti.  And the Huffington post, also compiled some ways you can help.  These are wonderful resources for us to act.  If you haven’t already please use these resources and give.