A FUNK ??!! Not a Fiendishly Unrealistic Neurotic Kryptanalysis, Ralph ? (That's a mental sinkhole, in other words. Stay in it long enough, you're FUNK....! )
All family problems cause angst. It's the nature of the beast; if you care, it hurts you.
If you can't do anything because it's someone else's responsibility, it hurts you.
If you are not omniscient until afterwards, it hurts you.
If you don't have the money or resources to do the right thing at the right time, it hurts you. But only if you care.
(I once wanted to go take a mentally disturbed person for a cup of coffee, but only had 9 pence in my pocket, so I couldn't even offer. The next time I saw him, he was trying to throw himself off a bridge... To this day, I wish I had done more, but can't think what.)
I read a story a few months ago, supposedly an Indian legend. Well if it's not, it should've been...
One day there was a fire in the forest. All the animals were fleeing towards the river as the air filled with smoke and flying sparks and undergrowth burned all around the giant redwoods. Coming in the opposite direction however was a tiny hummingbird; a bird not much bigger than a bee, that needs to sip nectar constantly to keep itself alive. In its beak was a tiny drop of water.
"What are you doing with that drop of water, little bird ?" asked a passing bear in astonishment.
"What I can," replied the hummingbird. "I'm doing what I can."
Now I happen to know that some Indian tribes were as environmentally-friendly and left-brain thinking as...well you can think of someone I'm sure. (I'd say the Easter Island Polynesians.) So it's maybe just a story. But I think the reason this story keeps coming back to me is that it demonstrates a very real, utterly basic truth. To quote an old Quaker saying, often used in Amnesty International circles, "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness."
What difference does one drop make ? None - without company. Who ever does the right thing ? No-one - without an example.
I know what you mean about every bout of depression paring away at your soul. I too know this feeling well. But I can assure you, from a distance of time and a different emotional perspective, that feeling turns out to be only half the truth. And a half-truth, as we all know, is the only truth that can be a lie.
Look at the rocks in a river. Look at their beauty, the different shapes and textures and colours that make them distinctive. What makes the beauty you see in riverside stones is the process by which their weaknesses are whittled away, revealing what lies within, and the chemical and geological processes which alter their substance. Yes, the softer, gentler edges are worn away, leaving the harder bits to remain, distorted and precarious. Yes, the fresh pure colours become muted and hidden. (Sometimes; but sometimes the water brings out the magic in the stones, in a way that any child will never fail to wonder at.)
But it strikes me that when I build a drystane dyke, I don't want to find a pile of nicely rounded, unmarked, unblemished, happily anonymous stones waiting for me. This would be my nightmare ! Such stones are useless. They not only have no real character unless you spend much time and effort knocking them into shape, but they have little or no visible beauty, and they are virtually impossible to get to fit together with other stones. Much of the time they will crumble at the first blow, or stubbornly refuse to change in the slightest, becoming nothing more than a problem. Stones that have been worn down by time and circumstance (as we all are in the end), are any builders' first choice of materiel. You can see the stuff of which they are made. You know their strengths, and how mixed with other stones they will become a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. It is their very imperfections that make them useful, and a thing of beauty, and memorable. So it is with human beings such as ourselves.
The lesson in today's sermon I suppose is, do what you can, and be proud of the fact that you even want to do anything. Don't feel guilty at not being good enough. Do what you can, and leave the rest to others - that's all you can be or are responsible for. And from what I've seen of folks like you and Pammi on this forum, you're doing a not bad job of supporting those who with time will pass on your example to others.
It's easier not to care, not to be hurt; but not to care, is to be carelessly destructive. Read the newspapers, they are full of such persons' stories...
I often think that it is with good reason that mental illness is called "insanity". You read medical text books, and the perennial question that bugs the experts is, what is the appropriate response to reality ? Look at the world, and you will see it is full of all sorts of everyday things that are obviously "crazy"; dysfunctional, inefficient, unsustainable, unreasonable....insane. Sometimes going against the flow of a world rushing in the wrong direction, however painful and wrong it may feel or make a person seem, is the only right thing to do. Sometimes that is what is "in sanity".
Egad, it's almost three a.m., I need to get some beauty sleep. ( O, how I need beauty sleep !!)
Here's a going away joke...
There once was a patient who went to see a psychiatrist. "My life is full of pain," he complained. "I wake up grinding my teeth. I've lost my appetite.What is wrong with me ?"
"Well," said the psychiatrist (a wise man), "Just to be sure, I think you should go to a dental practitioner to make sure that there isn't a physical cause for this."
So he referred the patient to a dentist, and then the patient came back to the psychiatrist.
"It's as I suspected," said the psychiatrist, handing over the dentist's report. "You are not properly full filled - it's probably the daily grind wearing you away..."
Is that the grinding of rocks in the river I hear, or the grinding of teeth...?