Life as an after-thought
I start to consider things I can do to help others, and nothing comes to my mind; nothing at all
July 3, 2007
As we grow older we’re supposed to experience wisdom with age, but instead I feel like I just opened my eyes to life’s unpleasant realities. It wasn’t until my 24th birthday that I started to absorb and question my everyday environment. Lately I’m starting to realize the importance of achieving balance in our daily routine. Unfortunately, I’m also starting realize that it is difficult to feel fulfilled when one considers the overwhelming amount of global corruption and poverty in our world.
Even though the faces of underprivileged humans circle our minds, it is not particularly difficult to quickly blur their faces out, and fill the newly empty space with schedules and appointments that we must attend to.
For many, the idea of being able to help others makes their hearts race with excitement, and in a way they feel better about themselves knowing that they are contributing to the greater good of humankind. It’s refreshing to see proactive attitudes, but sadly I’ve been noticing that most peoples’ emotions are inconsistent.
While one may sympathize with a single heartbreaking story of poverty, we are never really affected long enough for the real message to sink in. Usually by the time someone starts to sense the first signs of sadness, they choose to tune it out in order to numb feelings of guilt. I guess it’s easier to think we can’t do anything to help rather than attempt to make a difference.
If we continuously lie to ourselves that humans don’t have a greedy desire for consumption, then how in the world can we claim we will one day reach a sense of self-fulfillment?
Think about this for a second: When you drink a bottle of water, how often do you think abut how lucky you are to have access to a clean, filtered beverage that quenches your bodies need for hydration? And how about when you eat when you’re not even hungry? Every bite you take would be no more special than the last one. Our need to search for a sense of completeness can make us forget about the billions of people worldwide who would chop off their right arm to have a quarter of the tangible goods that we take for granted.
I catch glimpses of the poor on my television set, shed a tear, and then flip the channel. I feel ashamed for closing my eyes to poverty and corruption, but I quickly get over it when the clock finally strikes 8:00pm, and I hop into my car to go hang out with my friends.
I sometimes think about my government; the one that I pay taxes to annually. I think about the rich business people who invest money on expensive corporate lunches and meetings. I question why nobody feels bad about spending money on insignificant things. Even worse, I consider my own excessive spending problems. For instance, I never think about the poor or the oppressed when I throw down $9.00 for a pack of smokes.
It’s hard enough to show sufficient amount of love to our family and friends, let alone somebody across the globe that is starving or stripped of their basic human rights. Everyday we’re overexposed to media images that tell us what to eat, what to wear, and how to feel. I guess the problems in our own world make us feel bad enough for ourselves -- We don’t really have the time to truly care about others across the globe.
A child’s crying face doesn’t haunt us because we have so many different mediums that distract us from this type of sadness. Comedy television shows, pictures of pretty girls and hot guys, and extraordinary images of nature are what we are exposed to everyday. I’m starting to realize that all these forms of media diversions drown and ultimately erase the pictures of the skeleton like figures of the poor.
I start to consider things I can do to help others, and nothing comes to my mind; nothing at all.
Sometimes I get sick and tired of sitting back and doing nothing. I sometimes vow to commit myself to helping others. I sometimes plan to get more actively involved, and live less selfishly. When I reach reality again, I realize that I can’t change my life over night. But I know with patience and effort, anything is possible.
I hope we can all wake up one day from our superficial and materialistic dreams and realize there is nothing more important in this world then making sure we care and love for others living on our Earth. Comment