Corruption here, oppression there; I know about it, but do I care?

 

Sometimes I fear that I am becoming apathetic.

Every morning, I listen to the news on my commute to campus. Every mile that I travel is filled with tragedy. I hear stories about political and social injustice in the United States. I hear about the crises in Mali and Syria, the global fight for women’s rights, the conditions that refugees face in South Sudan. Sometimes, I don’t even blink when I hear phrases like “the death toll has risen to…” or “in a catastrophic turn of events…”

What has happened to me?

Today I realized something that I hope I’ll never forget.

Every news story that I hear has something in common – every story involves people. I know this statement sounds like common sense, but I feel that I have become so desensitized to the things going on in this world that I forget the fact that these events that I’m hearing about are real. With real people living real lives, who have real hopes and real dreams. The people affected, those who are suffering, those who are starving, those who are being abused, those who are doing the abusing… they are all people. With a story. Just like me – I’m a real person, with a real story.

Embracing apathy and becoming desensitized is not the solution to the world’s problems. In fact, I’d argue that it actually contributes to them. I’ll admit that there are no easy solutions to these problems. Sometimes, I even fear there is no solution at all. Even so, that does not give me an excuse to idly sit by and wait for somebody else to take action. I have to take action, even if it seems to be insufficient in comparison to the scope of the worlds’ problems.

So today, I took action.

Today, I prayed.

Sometimes, all you can do is pray. Today is one of those days.