Lately, it seems that Facebook has become less social and fun and a lot more harrowing. Amidst friendly photos and updates on old friends are hordes of reminders of the tragic state of the world we live in. There’s an explosion here, a shooting there, and everyday I’m reminded of a poor friend’s tragic story. If it weren’t my only lifeline to my loved ones, I would be off Facebook in a minute. Hearing or seeing the news once is hard enough but to be reminded over and over again is just painful and cruel.
The saddest part? We seem to just put up with it. The violence and injustice is right in front of us day after day and yet nothing changes. Every time we go to wish someone a happy birthday or update our friends on our latest misadventure, we are reminded of the latest tragedy or enlightened to a new one. And yet, it just keeps happening.
If this is not proof that something, or everything, needs to change, then I don’t know what is.
Now, I’m not saying that no one is doing anything. That would be unfair and untrue. There are plenty of people trying to make a difference. Protests and walks are sure to follow any tragedy, but that can only go so far. Awareness is step one. Well, everyone is aware. What now? What is step two?
The key to coming up with a concrete solution is identifying the problem. Unfortunately, that has become difficult. The issues have all blended together in their violence and ignorance and intolerance. With killings and rapes, suicides and overall disagreement, everyone is so quick to pick a side and defend it at whatever cost. The reality is, that only adds to the problem. It’s easy to hide behind the keyboard and list off reason after reason that you’re right and everyone else is wrong, but what good does that do? It’s good to have beliefs and stand by them, but when your beliefs lead you to belittle others, you’re just another part of what needs to change.
This may seem a bit hypocritical, as I sit here and type off what makes other people wrong. I am in no way perfect. Up to this point in my life, I have chosen to keep my opinions largely to myself in order to avoid conflict and I’m a 22-year-old who has never registered to vote. But I just can’t do it anymore. I can’t ignore the world around me. None of us should. I don’t know what I’m going to do that will make any difference; all I know is that what we’re all doing now isn’t working.
How many more people do we have to lose? How many more known criminals need to be left alone? How much more hate needs to spread and tolerated before everyone’s had enough? I know words can only go so far, but words are my talent. Words are all I have right now and I am begging someone to hear them. I don’t want to live in a world of fear anymore. I don’t want to grow up and raise children in this mess. It's scary and I'm sick of being scared. So I am begging that someone hears my words and that together, we can change our world.