I’ve written this sentence some four times now, trying to come up with a good way to begin. It’s difficult to write this out because the words bumble around in my head like a torrent of disrupted bees, each begging for attention; a mob of particles fighting to get the first word in.
I’m angry. And I’ve got reasons.
Over the past few months or so, keeping up with the news has been as similar an experience to me as that of trying to write an assignment: every word makes me more frustrated, nothing makes sense and frankly, it hurts. Every time I read anything, both local and foreign, it seems more and more like the world we live in is run by petulant children masquerading as adults. Every sentence baffles me: children being murdered because people can buy semi-automatic guns without background checks like it’s nothing; governments giving permission, time and time again, to build on ODZ (Outside Development Zone) land; real people living in a state of poverty with no help from said government; journalists dead for speaking out; and an orange on a stick being allowed to stir up political unrest from the comfort of his cell phone.
The funny thing is that my anger isn’t with the situation. Bad things will happen, people will get hurt, and I know that there’s nothing I alone can do to stop the entire world from acting deranged. There’s no magic pill we can hand out to people that will provide them with common sense and human decency (although if there are any scientists reading this, there’s your million-dollar idea).
No, my anger is with us.
Us civilians (myself included) who despair at the state of our world, shake our heads and tut dejectedly, and then continue to mindlessly scroll through the news section without a second thought to any atrocity. The people that meet awful events with a “how awful! Imma x’taghmel…”. The disproportionately large population who jump at the opportunity to complain about the most inane things on their Facebook profiles, who judge and mock and make statements without checking the facts, but can’t even bring themselves to do anything that might actually matter. The thousands of students living cushy lives as they sit at their computers, who never stop to think of how they got there in the first place.
We live in a modern world, a world we are so lucky to live in. A world with technologies and comforts beyond the wildest imaginations of our parents or our parents’ parents. The developments of the past 50 years alone, both social and technological, are enough to amaze and astound. Developments that today are common-place. Developments that would have never been achieved if it hadn’t been for the people that fought tooth and nail for them to happen. Because you see, that’s what it takes to make a change. It takes courage, motivation, and above all, the ability to get up off your butt and strive to do something, that will make a difference in this world.
We are where we are because of those people. We owe them so much thanks, and we can learn so much from those who struggled to achieve what we now take for granted. The women who fought for equal rights of the sexes. The people that strived for the recognition and acceptance of the LGBTQI community. The innovative thinkers, creators, scientists and artists. These people all have something to share with us, some way we can improve ourselves and our world. They are examples of the fact that change can happen, that the ailments of our present do not need to be the ailments of our future. They show us that our voices can be heard.
However, for that to happen, we need to actually do something about it. We need to stand up, show up, be present and accountable.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that we need to be the people of the future; the motivators of change. And the fact of the matter is that this is possible to achieve even in this day and age. Look at the students who are pouring out of schools in America advocating gun reforms, so that none of them need to suffer another loss at brutal hands. Look at the people offering donations of food, water and shelter to the poor of our country. Look at the people who marched last week in Valletta against violence to women.
I’m done being disappointed in people, and I’m done with thinking that there is nothing we can do about anything. We can do so much if we stand together and at least make the attempt to have our voices heard.
But we have to try. It’s the least we can do.
Whatever your background, race, age or gender, we can all do something about the issues that matter to us. And the first step in the right direction is to actually get up and speak up about the issues that bother us. Make the people in charge so uncomfortable about these issues that they have no choice but to change them.
If we have the power to be the change we wish to see in the world, what the heck are we waiting for?
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