Growing up in a liberal college town, I would frequently see bumper stickers that read, “If you aren’t outraged, you’re not paying attention.” At the time I regarded this as nothing more than activist rhetoric, however, the news of late has had me pretty bummed out. While there’s always unrest and injustice present in the world, something about this latest cycle has me left with little faith in humanity, especially considering what’s going on inside our own borders.
In the so-called “land of the free,” Americans are being shot and our liberties violated by those sworn to protect them. Elsewhere, children & civilians are being beheaded, crucified, and bombed over fairy tales and money. The lands, waters, and atmosphere we occupy are on the brink of disaster. Deadly viruses are claiming humanitarians and villages. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and even easier to point fingers or place blame, yet resolve seems out-of-reach given the current climate.
World peace is an unlikely proposition. Justice will never be served for those who deserve it most. Yet being constantly outraged is not an option for living a happy, fulfilling life, and simply ducking the news and pleading ignorance is a cop-out. Such helplessness to incite change is a frustrating and empty feeling, but we simply can’t all cure Polio or travel abroad as humanitarians.
However we can make a difference in our communities and positively impact those around us. Stand-up for what you believe in and use your voice and abilities to make a difference on whatever scale you can. Be kind and help those who are in need. Pay attention, but know when to turn-off. When you have good fortune, share it with friends and those close to you.
And if all else fails, go ride your bike and give thanks, for we are truly blessed to live the lives we do.