Today is the National Day of Service and Remembrance. I didn’t actually know that, until I went looking for something I’d heard on the radio about doing a good deed on September 11th as a way of acknowledging the day, but apparently it’s very official, federally recognized and everything. Forbes has a story about it, if you want more info.
For me, commemorating through remembering and memorializing comes a little too close to wallowing, not because the tragedy affected me personally but because it was so overwhelming at the time and maybe also because I’m a pragmatist. I could light a candle and say a prayer, and maybe I will, but what good does that do anyone? Especially right now while hundreds of thousands of desperate people are fleeing the middle east. It doesn’t exactly feel like we’ve come a long way in the past 14 years, or if we have, maybe it was in the wrong direction.
Fortunately, Patrick Rothfuss has given me a better outlet for my need to remember the day. Doing What We Can is surely better than doing nothing, especially today. I’ve never felt so grateful to donate money, to have the opportunity to say, yes, I am not quite helpless in the face of the world’s horrors. Pretty much helpless, but not entirely.
Anyway, today is also World Suicide Prevention Day, which seems sort of like terrible timing on their part. I would think the date’s other significance would get in the way of getting much attention. Although, I don’t know, it is a depressing day, so maybe they figured now was a time when people needed to be reminded that the world is not always as bleak as it seems?
In that spirit, I’ve decided to give away the pretty beaded bookmarks that I got to celebrate 250,000 downloads of A Gift of Ghosts. I meant to do one of those serious Rafflecopter things with them — tweeting and liking pages and all that jazz — but eh, that does not inspire me. This does. If you donate to Worldbuilders and/or suicide prevention and/or do some other good deed today and share it in the comments to this post, either on Facebook or on my blog, I’ll enter you to win one of three bookmarks. I don’t get a lot of traffic, so your odds are pretty good, and the bookmarks are lovely. (This is not the world’s best picture, but it gives you the idea, I hope.)
Plus, even better, you too will get to know that in a world that sometimes seems impossibly dark, you’ve chosen to be a little tiny flicker of light. That doesn’t feel like enough, but you can never tell which spark will light a fire. Maybe it’ll be yours.