There is so much horror and suffering in the world. I get frustrated when people try to boil down global issues of persecution and terrorism into quick sound bites. But I’m not here to go on a rant about politics or religion.
When I see the stats on these things and hear people talking about genuine human agony in abstract terms I am struck by how insulting and desperately sad it is. We talk about people dying in tens, hundreds, and thousands as though the figures are enough to shock. Yes, they are shocking but that’s not what shocks me.
I think about my life, about the people we see every day, people we know, strangers, friends, it doesn’t matter. But these people, we as people, go about our lives taking everything we have for granted. I hear about death and I wonder at the hopes and dreams that have been shattered. Did that person have dreams of fame and riches, or did they just wish for the safety of their children?
Think about the adverts on the television asking us to donate money to distant countries where children die needlessly every single day, now look at your own children. The parents in those countries love their children as we do, now can you imagine what it would be like to have your child come to you, to say they were thirsty, and the only thing you could give them was water you knew might kill them?
It breaks my heart. There’s no solution. I am not on my high horse here. I don’t do enough. None of us do enough. But it’s pushing on the ocean. We can’t live surrounded by guilt because these things are not about personal guilt.
Things are awful in the world but they always have been and they probably always will be. We’re more aware of atrocities because of our twenty-four hours news access but these things have always happened. But still, it breaks my heart. It’s just so sad on a human level.
I suppose I bring this up because now I’m working hard to achieve my dream. I am so thankful that I have this chance. I can’t tell you what it means to have others embrace my toil. But all I have are words. What I do may be frivolous in larger terms but it is what it is.
So the next time you hear in the news about the death toll, about one side killing the other with no end in sight, try and imagine the faces of the innocent who are gone. They had lives, they had dreams that would never come to fruition, people can be cursed by geography and religion. But we are blessed.
If you have a dream, whatever it is, you have to go out and do your damndest to achieve it because we should all embrace that chance, not everyone gets that chance. Think of the faceless, those suffering, people who just want to live their lives in peace, who want to raise their children, and be happy. We can’t assure our happiness, there are things that happen outside of our control, but if you can change it then change it.
Be empowered. Get out into the world. Free yourself of the constraints that hold you back. If you have an unhappy life, take stock. If you have a dream you have not achieved, or not attempted, try a little bit every day to move forward. Encourage those you love. Hug your children. Know every day that you are alive and take half a minute, not every day, not all day, just thirty little seconds to think about those you know, those you have lost, those gone from this world who we never had the chance to know.
We are so insignificant in this immense universe but that does not mean we are unimportant. But nor are those without chance and opportunity to make something, anything, of their lives.
I could go on and on about this, about taking control of yourself, about acting in spite of the fear, but I’d bore you all to tears! This post isn’t meant to be a lecture but now that I’ve written it I don’t want it to go unread. Each of us have to see the luck that we have and try to minimize any negativity.
Be kind, because it’s all any of us can be. Maybe if we each push just a little bit, just a tiny bit every day, the ocean will move. It’s worth a try, what’s the alternative?
Good luck on your adventures,