Monday, May 26, 2014

Break it Down...

Every day, we are reminded that our world is wounded. It is bleeding war, drowning in hunger; it is starving of deprivation and poverty. Every news story we hear, each article we read, is a painful knife to the heart-- the sense of despair is hemorrhaging; we are overwhelmed. Each time, we ask ourselves yet again why we think we can make a difference in a world that is clearly drowning in need--- it is immense and impossible. And so, we switch the channel. We close the article, exit the tab, and return to our comforting episode of Sherlock, where at least the impending sense of world cataclysm is conveniently one reality away. We allow ourselves to become desensitized, because it is so much easier than facing reality, to recognize that while we sit here in the comfort of our homes, people are dying, children over the world are struggling to stay alive, haunted by memories of loved ones, and wondering if they will survive the night. We allow ourselves to dismiss the bigger picture, because it is too much for us to handle-- but what if we break it down?

             What if the crisis in Syria was not the dark, dismal cacophony of chaos the documentary says it is, but simply the longing expression on the bright, yet neglected face of that young child? It is the same expression as my student Thusyanthini back home, desperately seeking the yet unknown joy of education, waiting to discover the thrill of learning. What if the turmoil of the Ukraine uprising was dissected into the raw hunger in the eyes of that old Ukranian woman? They are the eyes of the homeless lady I see every day on my way to school. What if that distressing report on global climate change was about that one tree:  it could be the one I decide to plant over the weekend. What if we don’t tune it out, but break it down?  Change is not a vague five-letter word; change is a person, a situation, and we can create it. The world might be wounded, but let’s take it one band aid at a time.


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