The whole world has seen the picture of drowned innocence. A three year old boy washed up on the shores of Turkey. Face down in the sand. All alone. Dead. What did this child do to deserve this fate? We stare at the screen, feel upset for a moment and then scroll on and forget about it. Why do we ignore these pressing issues? How have we gone through two world wars and still don’t know any better? Are we desensitised to death – have we given up caring?
Human lives are lost or about to be lost all around us, but we just turn the page, click next and carry on with our everyday lives. Life is still fine and dandy here at home, so why not? That’s what our society does to us. The speed of our news flow and prevalence of irrelevant matters makes it impossible to process the most important issues. We are too obsessed with Kanye West’s impromptu announcement to become president, stars that apparently look alike or new diets that claim to work well, for example.
The second after we have heard about one thing, we have to concentrate on the next trending article and the next junk article and so on. We have adapted to being fed all this information without really having a good look at it. It is simply there to keep us distracted. I just read the slogan of a local newspaper saying: “News that really entertains”. Is this what we want? To be entertained? Entertainment is great, don’t get me wrong, but no one grows through entertainment, nothing is developed through entertainment. Entertainment means relaxation for your brain. It puts your brain to sleep and the world carries on without you. There is no way we can develop solutions for current problems when we can’t even take them in.
I feel so much hatred against everything that caused these kinds of catastrophes. But I don’t want to add to the excessive amount of hate we already have in our world. To be honest, I don’t even want to be a part of a world like this anymore, but that doesn’t mean I have to go. I am not in the wrong for feeling upset and wanting to change things. It’s the rest of the world that’s to blame. I mean the people who want to take advantage of other peoples’ vulnerabilities, the people who think that life is less precious than them reaching some menacing goal.
How can we accept that? Call me a delusional optimist but this world can be changed, and it has to. It shocks me most that even young people who have limited experience have already given up on this world. They gave up long before they even tried. They say: “It’s always been like this” or “I could never make a difference”.
What right do we have to pretend we know so much that we can be sure the world can’t change? Think of all the great people who have changed the world for the rest of humanity: Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela to name a few. They were only humans, like you and I, only they didn’t dare give up. Do you remember when you wanted the world to be full of rainbows, unicorns, love, good food and fun for everyone? Please don’t forget about that vision. It’s impossible, I know, I too have given up on colourful unicorns but we can definitely move in the direction of utopia. Please, I beg you, don’t grow up and give up.
Do your research, be critical and educate yourself, suck up all the information you can find and use it to do good. Whether it’s fighting bullies, racism, pollution, illness or anything else that you feel is wrong with this world. If you want, you can make a change. The only one who can decide what change and how big of a change you will make, is you. Or you can sit and wait until it’s too late. Your choice.