July 27, 2011 2 Comments
I’ve always had a lot of time for the musician ‘Pink’. She’s got a really hard-arse, ‘Fuck you’ attitude that I simply adore. I’ve never really been a fan though, and I only know a handful of her songs. Recently though I’ve got my hands on a couple of her Albums and yeah, I think I can now be called a fan. Not only do I still love those ‘Fuck you’ songs, but she’s got some really pretty, thought provoking songs too.
I was sitting on the train today, going into the city to catch up with a friend and listened ‘Dear Mr President’, which I hadn’t heard before. Halfway through my gut was knotted and shaking as I was trying to hold back tears. I haven’t been this moved by a song since I first listened to Casey Chambers ‘Ignorance’, which is a hidden track at the end of ‘I still Pray’. Fortunately I was in bed reading the first time I heard that and was able to cry without having to worry about being interrupted.
Here’s a youTube link to ‘Dear Mr President’.
It’s a stunning, heart-breaker of a song, but as good as it is I don’t think Pink got it quite right. Those with riches and power most certainly have their part to play in making the world a better place, but the burden doesn’t rest on their shoulders alone. It is the responsibility of all of us to work towards a better future.
I’ve never met anyone evil. Honestly the older I get the more I wonder if they even exist. Evil is so subjective. But what I do see every day is something I think could be worse than evil. When people see evil they stand up proud and lend each other a helping hand. When disasters strike people go out of their way to help and although I don’t think it’s worth the destruction, it is a beautiful thing to see.
What I think the real problem is, is indifference. When people just walk past someone in need. You see it every day; homeless people on the street and hundreds of people just keep walking. We accept it. We are indifferent to it. Every time I see this is tears me up inside. Despite that, I too keep walking.
The world is getting better. People are happier, healthier and live longer than ever before. Every generation we see improvements in the quality of human life. There is still a ways to go in terms of eliminating poverty (yes, I think it can be eliminated) and finding equality for all, but the system we have at the moment can only do so much. We could cure all these problems and create nets to help prevent it happening in the future. But we can never kill off all the negativity in the world until we overcome indifference. It is that little voice that says ‘someone else will deal with it’.
I find most people are good. If they weren’t, then there would be more people in jail than out of it. On average, most people do the right thing, behave appropriately and help out when asked. But we need more than that to truly make a difference. We need to be actively kind, not only when it is asked of us.
And so I make a request. Dont’ be indifferent. Be one of the people who makes a difference. And don’t wait, act now. Go join a charity (Sadly a couple of days ago I pulled out of the charity I donated to, as my funding is tight. But I have a job interview tomorrow and if all goes to plan I’ll be donating to a charity again as soon as possible). If you’re like me and can’t afford it, give a dollar to the homeless dude on the street. So what if he might use it for booze, he might also use it to better himself. He deserves the chance to do the right thing.
Don’t feel comfortable approaching the homeless? Okay, leave a chocolate bar on your coworkers desk. She looks like she could use the sugar hit. Make dinner for your sick housemate. Tell someone they’re important to you. For fuck sake ring your mother and tell her you love her. Mothers, ring your kids and do the same.
I don’t care what you do, just do something! And don’t wait until tomorrow to do it, do it now! And after you’ve done it, go about your day. Go to work. Go home. Make dinner. Go to bed. Then get up tomorrow and do something good again. And then something the day after. Do something worthwhile every day. It can be as much as large sums of money to charity, or as little as legitimately asking someone how they’re doing.
When the chick who serves you lunch asks ‘How are you?’, like they’re paid to do, say ‘Fine thanks, and you?’. Then wait for them to answer. I do this all the time and it almost never ceases to get a smile. Show them you care and that they’re not just an automated sandwich machine.
So go and do something, today, to make the world a better place. Don’t be indifference. And for fuck sake call your mother.
– Ignorance is not bliss, and life is too short. Stay inquisitive.