If you’re wondering how to make a positive change in the world, Nomi Leasure answers this for you.
How can we possibly confront the institutions and injustices that have been in place for so long? It’s almost as if Millennials don’t know where to begin because things are so unbelievably fucked up and dysfunctional. – Submitted by withyou-inrockland
49 innocent people lost their lives on Sunday in the worst mass shooting in modern American History. 53 more were wounded. The gunman legally purchased an AR-15-style rifle and handgun despite having been under FBI investigation in 2013 and 2014. This is far from an isolated incident. “We’re 164 Days Into 2016. We’ve Had 133 Mass Shootings.” And this is just in the United States.
Across the pond Europe grapples with recent terror attacks in Paris, and Brussels, overflowing refugee camps in Greece, and crippling debt. Syria is in a Civil War. North Korea won’t give up its Nukes. Shall we venture into the Middle East? See what’s up with our pal Putin? Or get a status update from the 1 billion children worldwide living in poverty? We better act fast; 22,000 of them die daily.
I sit here sobbing, but it’s not about me.
The world has so much to be ashamed of right now. Turning on the news is nauseating and overwhelming. It’s nearly impossible to believe what you see and hear. Where do we start? Facing what seems like an insurmountable mountain of global pain and violence – what is a twenty something year old to even do?
No matter your religious affiliation you may be able to agree that we as people exist with some degree of connection to one another. We are part of the same species, each of us contributing equally to the evolution of that species. Our lives and our time here matter – and our relationships to each other matter the most. In a way you have already completed the most important step to enacting positive change: You have felt within your heart the need to be good and to be kind.
“As a man who’s done it, I can say with certainty that it’s easy to roll down the window and call the person who cut you off on the freeway a ‘fucking asshole.’ It’s easy to revere tradition over people’s feelings. It’s easy to respond to a broken heart with a devastating comment… It’s easy to be a racist. Tapping into the darker recesses of your lizard brain in order to live a life unencumbered by self-examination or regard for others is simple because it’s reflexive, like throwing a punch… Conversely, waking up each day and devoting yourself to being kind, even and especially to people who are not kind to you, is actually incredibly difficult. It is arduous and deliberate work, and the doing of it will at times make you feel small and foolish. What’s more, in the end, it will on its own merits almost never yield a person awards or honours or riches.”
I know this may seem a tedious response to your question but I feel it’s a place we must start here, on this page, and there in the world.
The changes we want to make will start with our wanting of them to change. They will start with us expanding our consciousness and evolving towards love. And we will take up arms and we will march into battle for the things we love and the things that need fighting for. And we will fight. We will fight the uphill battle against lobbyist and interest groups (NRA), against cults and radicals (Westboro Baptist Church, ISIS), against outdated institutions (Parliament, Congress), and against gaping wounds that have not yet healed (slavery, genocide).
How can you confront institutions and injustices? You’ve already started. You took notice, you dug deeper, you cared. When the world seems too overwhelming to make a difference remind yourself that that is the biggest difference you can make – that’s where it all begins. It begins in each and every human being’s heart.
In summary here’s the three step guide to fighting fucked up shit:
Identify something you’re passionate about and learn everything there is to know about it
Believe that things can change
Stand up for that thing with your fucking life