I have been called a “Useless White Knight”. When trying to defend the weak and the least in my neighbourhood I have been told to “STFU”. (If you’re not familiar with the acronym, it’s rather rude; you can look it up, but you’ve been warned!). I have been challenged in general terms as a minister serving in a religion that is only after people’s money.
Believe me, I’m not complaining. I’m writing this with a wry smile on my face and a skip in my virtual step. (Hard to step and type, you know). Anyone in any caring profession or vocation has been called these things and worse. I’m not bothered at all by rude or ignorant comments. In fact, if people were not criticizing me, I’d be worrying that maybe I wasn’t doing my job well enough.
At the same time, all joking aside, is the truth that those comments and insults are far more useless than anyone’s attempts to do a little good in the world. During this time of physical distancing and a frightening disease, anything kind, helpful or loving we can do is vital. People are sad, depressed, feeling useless, unwell and in any number of other painful states. Sure, I will certainly not be able to cure anybody with my prayers, and I might not offer complete and absolute hope to someone feeling down, but I can at least try.
Those who criticize caregivers or people like myself because we might not be accomplishing much are not helping in any way whatsoever. Their comments are truly useless. Worse than that, their comments might actually hurt someone. I’ve been around the block a great number of times. I have thick skin, sharply sarcastic wit, and the ability to shrug off ignorant or rude comments. Someone who is more sensitive, or hasn’t yet learned how to deal with unkind, abusive commenters, might be cut to the quick. They may be truly hurt and be made to give up their loving endeavours. I can’t describe how evil such a result would be.
So who is truly useless? Those who would try to make a positive difference or those who would tear them down? Is it more useless to help as best as you or to stand back and do nothing perfectly?
At the risk of repeating myself (I know I’ve written about this before…) I would rather be a “Useless White Knight” fighting an uphill battle against the forces of fear, hate and disease, than do nothing. Indeed, if caring, loving people didn’t do their best to try and make a positive difference in the world, then, and only then, could they be called useless. Personally, I would rather avoid that fate and continue to do whatever I can to help. How about you?