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Question
Posted by: distressed and distraught | 2010/08/10

Nature conservation

I have a very diifferent issue that is bothering me. Im sure its one your not used to dealing with so im not expecting much. its just that im normally much stronger then this and not used to feeling this way so i need to speak about it. Im a person that cares alot for animals and nature. Infact although i am young i have decided to dedicate my life to protecting them from all sorts of people in this world. i have already started out on this journey and have tried my darnest thus far, unfortunately i can not dedicate my whole day every day as i have to work to survive but i do as much as i can when i can. The problem is i never feel like i''ve done enough, no matter how much i do and plan to do. i hate the feeling of not feeling like im making a difference. I have helped several Animal rescue centres with fundraising and am an Honuary officer for EKZN Wildlife( i volunteer my time on weekends). I plan to study nature conservation through UNISA so that I can get more hands on and make the Impact I feel i was born to. I know I am doing more then most, I know I am probably doing all that i can given the time frame. Those are the facts, but my heart feels so much despair at not being able to do more right now. I dont know how else to explain it. I am extremely positive and strong and seldom am down in the dumps and never for long. But today i am just so overwhelmed with the evils of this world. I feel like i cant handle it. I am pretty well informed about the Rhino poaching and after reading my emails after this weekends events i just wanna curl up and escape this planet. I doubt many would be able to relate. I just cant focus on my job, which is very important that i do at this point. Its killing me that i cant go and do something myself right now about these problems facing wildlife. My other half says its because i dont get to see the fruits of my labour and is really encouraging. I dont know why i am unable to feel satisfied with my efforts so far. I know i have alot to be proud of for my age in this area and others but for some reason i wont allow myself to feel the relief of success, even if temporarily. This is not like me feel so confused and disillusioned, i am always so focused and dont allow nigly feelings to linger but these ones wont go away. I know alot of people dont get it, alot of people think im stupid, but someone has to care and becuase so many dont, those that do have to make up for it. Why does caring suck so much

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Sometimes those of us who are used to being and feeling strong, find it harder to accept situations when we feel less capable and confident, than do people who don't expect to manage tough situations.
None of us can afford to spend all day working on projects close to our heart, unless we are independently very wealthy. None of us is so insignificant that our efforts on project we consider worthy will be irrelevant - but none of us are so powerful that we will, on our own, solve any major world problems. That doesn't mean its not worth trying - just that we must remember to be realistic in the aims we decide to aim towards, and satisfied with having made a difference.
Is the situation better than it would have been if you had done nothing ? Surely yes. And you're wise in deciding to study so as to gain some relevant skills, to enhance your ability to be useful.
Sounds like your heart is in the right place, but you may be at risk of becoming very unrealistic in what you expect of yourself and your impact. All these large problems would have been solved long ago, if all they needed was the sincere efforts of one person for a short while. If one looks back at the large-scale problems that HAVE been solved, they all required the efforts of many individuals, working in a coordinated fashion, over an extended period of time.
When I was a student, smoking was extremely common and there were fierce pressures to smoke. Many efforts were made to change this and we grew really pessimistic as it seemed nothing could be achieved. In fact, there has been an enormous change in behaviour, social acceptability of smoking, and the proportion of people who smoke, limitations on the advertising and sale of cigarettes, and so on. But it took a LOT of work by MANY people, each doing the little bit they could, over DECADES, to achieve this major change - and much more remains to be done.
Its worth doing, but if one expects early, easy and quick results, one is doomed to be disappointed, and to give up when one's efforts would have been part of the eventuial success.
Yes, more people need to care - but you cannot do their caring, for them. Do what you can, accept what you can't, and recognize the value of incremental efforts in producing the lasting changes you want

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Red | 2010/08/10

Feel the same way. From one animal lover to another. Breaks my heart when people use nature and mistreat their pets.

Reply to Red
Posted by: NoTreeHUGGER | 2010/08/10

Doc, do you see what movies with blue aliens (avator, is it?) do to people? Honestly though why dont you rather dedicate your time to charities that deal with actual people? There is so much that can be done ....

Reply to NoTreeHUGGER
Posted by: Nature Lover | 2010/08/10

Lovely story about the star fish. Wish more people just think along these lines.

Reply to Nature Lover
Posted by: Distressed &  Distraught | 2010/08/10

~ That is really true! ~ A good story to remember :-)

Reply to Distressed &amp  Distraught
Posted by: Maria | 2010/08/10

There are many different versions of it, here is one:

A man saw an old woman stooped over on a beach covered with starfish. He asked her what she was doing, to which she replied, " I am throwing the starfish back into the sea - if I don''t, they will dry up and die." 

Laughing, the man said, " But Old Woman, there are so many starfish on the beach, you can''t possibly make a difference." 

She picked up a starfish and threw it back into the sea. Then looking at the man, she said, " I just made a difference to that starfish, and to me." 

The next day, the old woman visited the beach to check on the starfish. She saw the same man and his children throwing the starfish back into the sea. " Hello, Old Woman,"  he said with a twinkle in his eyes. " We are here to make a difference to a few more starfish." 


Adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley 1907 - 1977

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Distressed &  distraught | 2010/08/10

Thanks doc for putting it back into perspective for me. I am not superwoman, i am only human and can only do so much. and in the end my little bit put together with everyone elses little bits over time will make one big impact! Thank you all for bringing my smile and courage back

Reply to Distressed &amp  distraught
Posted by: Distressed &  Distraught | 2010/08/10

Thank you nature lover. It so good to know there are actually people that get it! Thank you both so much for sharing your feelings, it helps to know your not alone. No Maria, im not sure i do?

Reply to Distressed &amp  Distraught
Posted by: Maria | 2010/08/10

Do you know the starfish story?

Reply to Maria
Posted by: zoey | 2010/08/10

I know what you mean, but can''t explain it either. I am very passionate about so many things including nature &  animals. I don''t know whether it is a blessing or curse to be like this, peope don''t understand what we experience here deep within ourselves. Beauty that is so absolutely beautiful &  pain that is absolutely painful. there''s so much out there, you don''t know how totake it all in and sometimes i just feel so overwelmed.

Reply to zoey
Posted by: Nature Lover | 2010/08/10

So glad there are people like you. I get so depressed if I look arround and see what is going on. It all seems beyond help and control. Be strong, every bit helps.

Reply to Nature Lover
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/08/10

Sometimes those of us who are used to being and feeling strong, find it harder to accept situations when we feel less capable and confident, than do people who don't expect to manage tough situations.
None of us can afford to spend all day working on projects close to our heart, unless we are independently very wealthy. None of us is so insignificant that our efforts on project we consider worthy will be irrelevant - but none of us are so powerful that we will, on our own, solve any major world problems. That doesn't mean its not worth trying - just that we must remember to be realistic in the aims we decide to aim towards, and satisfied with having made a difference.
Is the situation better than it would have been if you had done nothing ? Surely yes. And you're wise in deciding to study so as to gain some relevant skills, to enhance your ability to be useful.
Sounds like your heart is in the right place, but you may be at risk of becoming very unrealistic in what you expect of yourself and your impact. All these large problems would have been solved long ago, if all they needed was the sincere efforts of one person for a short while. If one looks back at the large-scale problems that HAVE been solved, they all required the efforts of many individuals, working in a coordinated fashion, over an extended period of time.
When I was a student, smoking was extremely common and there were fierce pressures to smoke. Many efforts were made to change this and we grew really pessimistic as it seemed nothing could be achieved. In fact, there has been an enormous change in behaviour, social acceptability of smoking, and the proportion of people who smoke, limitations on the advertising and sale of cigarettes, and so on. But it took a LOT of work by MANY people, each doing the little bit they could, over DECADES, to achieve this major change - and much more remains to be done.
Its worth doing, but if one expects early, easy and quick results, one is doomed to be disappointed, and to give up when one's efforts would have been part of the eventuial success.
Yes, more people need to care - but you cannot do their caring, for them. Do what you can, accept what you can't, and recognize the value of incremental efforts in producing the lasting changes you want

Reply to cybershrink

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