Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

The one where I consider the meaning of life

I’ve been feeling quite emotional recently, not entirely sure why, money worries don’t help but there has been more than one occasion when I’ve suddenly got a speck of dirt in my eye. Maybe it’s the seemingly never ending news stories of abuse, murder or some other atrocity? Or watching an episode or DIY SOS and realising that for many people out there life really does suck. People who are just about surviving until that amazing program comes along and literally changes their lives.

Then there is the parent blogging community where there have been a number of heartbreaking stories this year, stories that make you go home and hug your family close never wanting to let them out of you sight so they can’t come to harm. It may be selfish but on more than one occasion I’ve had to stop reading a blog completely just for my own preservation. Sometimes those stories are just too raw or close to home and it’s hard to read those things regularly (Anecdotes of a manic mum in particular breaks my heart every time)

There are of course some personal reasons too for feeling this way, things that make life not so nice, but those aren’t my stories to tell.

So what’s the point in this? Beyond the therapeutic benefits of writing it’s also got me thinking. Like anyone not everything is rosy in my life, we may have to use a credit card to buy food occasionally but we have a nice house, happy children and generally enjoy our life. But our issues are small compared to some people, something you have remind yourself of sometimes. However do I really do anything to truly help others? I give money to a few charities every so often and have done some volunteering with work renovating a local preschool. Small things but not really impactful.

Like many I’ve had a few approaches through this blog to get involved with a charity. But so far I’ve done very little, the charities are generally the bigger ones and relate to problems in the third world. Really important issues but something I find hard to connect with so many thousands of miles away.

If I’m going to do something that has a bigger impact it has to be a cause I’m passionate about. Something where I can feel like I’m making a difference and maybe even see that difference happening? I think I need to spend some time choosing a cause to support and then stick with it for the long term. Maybe something connected to babies like Tommy’s? Or that helps children get active and in the outdoors?

Once chosen I can then figure out how I can help; I love running and taking on challenges so maybe some classic fundraising and a big challenge for 2014? There is of course the blogging and social media skills I now have that could be of use to a smaller charity in particular. Or simply finding somewhere to volunteer my time.

I know many of you are involved with charities so would love to know why you have chosen to support a particular cause and also how you help them.

Thanks for reading.




  1. Pretty heavy post there. Not sure who’s story it is to tell but I hope all is ok. Always at the end of an email or phone if you need a chat.

    As for charities, totally with you on that one. As important as the foreign ones are, I’d rather help fix issues closer to home first. Since becoming a dad the only ones i would consider would be children’s charities – every child’s future is just too important.

    • cheers dude, bit of a rough time at the moment. Agree on charities, I’m thinking maybe 2 charities a very local one and then a bigger national one but both probably child related

  2. Sarah @apartyofseven

    November 1, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    hope you are doing okay Ben. x

    Close to my heart is BLISS. They really do pick up the broken pieces and help to show grieving families a way through of sorts. That would be my choice

  3. Sorry to hear you’re feeling down mate and I really hope that changes soon. Blogging for charity is a great thing to do and it’s good to feel like you’re helping to make a difference. For my part, I’m in the blogger network of an international development charity and have also voluntarily done stuff about the two I’ve been employed by (another international development and an animal welfare). I’ve also done a couple of random one offs, but have yet to pick one myself – well, apart from Movember! I’ve chosen to blog about these simply because, in most instances, I was asked and had sympathy for the causes. So no profound reasoning, but writing for them makes me feel good. Good luck picking one. 🙂

  4. MiddleAgedMatron

    November 2, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Like you, I always feel I should contribute more of my good fortune in a practical way but am never sure how. Charity donations, on their own, seem too facile since it costs me little. One cause that has excited me, though, is Bridge of Hope, run by a group of people in my town. It supports orphans in Uganda, a distant cause, I know, but the difference is you get photos of the orphan you sponsor receiving the very clothes you sent; their families send back letters and if you stump up a couple of tenners you get to see the new kitchen roof it funded. It;s shaming how much so little does out there, but wonderful actually to see the impact of any help.

    • that’s nice though and you get a real connection. Not sure I like the idea of making lots of effort to raise money and then it disappearing into a big charity.

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