Sometimes when I look at humanity on a global scale, the problems that we face seem to be insurmountable.
I stand by that opinion with the notion that the reason I may feel this way is simply because I am American. This is the only land that I know, and I am proud to call this my home. However, I cannot help but notice the societal issues that should have been resolved long ago; especially by a country that is widely considered to be the most affluent on the planet.There are millions of people living below the poverty line here, but at the same time we have millionaires by the thousands. We enjoy the luxuries of buffets and running water while people starve, and children go to school everyday just to eat lunch. People drive huge SUVs and live in five and six bedroom (and more) houses, while orphanages are packed to capacity. Now I’m not saying that it is the sole responsibility of the wealthy to fix these issues, but I believe that there should be a personal sense of accountability to do so by every individual. I believe the insurmountable task is actually solving global-scale issues before solving the ones in the nation, and the individuals in that nation.
In the America we live in, everything is about securing as much as possible for yourself. We work hard and save every dime to retire to the beaches of the Key West. That’s basically the summarized version of what we call success. It rarely includes anyone besides those who are directly related to us. I know that this does not apply to every single person, but I am not afraid to say that it can easily be the mindset of 70% of the population.
Government officials do the best they can do by attempting to regulate taxes fairly among the rich and the poor, but then they turn around to steal the very same money. Large corporations do the best they can to create more jobs, but then they turn around and outsource those jobs overseas to maximize profit. The banking industry does the best it can to assist hardworking citizens in securing financial stability for their future, but then it turns around and lose the money in Ponzi schemes. So after all of this, the working man finally gets his hands on a few hard-earned dollars. It is hard to share after all you have witnessed is lying and stealing. The culture breeds attitudes that express statements like, “dog-eat-dog world” or “get yours like I got mine”.
Some people are homeless because they made bad decisions; I get that. However, there are countless homeless people that bad situations just happened to fall on. How often have you tried to differentiate between the two? Or do you treat them all the same? If homelessness is not your soft spot, then maybe you can tell me how many children deserve to be orphaned. It’s a really unfortunate dilemma and the solution that I have for it is so cliché that I don’t think people even consider it anymore. I think that’s because the word is rarely defined in the context where you have to place yourself in the position to do it.
We all need to love more.
Vague, right? Well, I can explain.
I have always looked for opportunities to help those in need and look forward to doing it more and on larger scales in the future. Whether it be adopting a child or simply feeding a man tomorrow at lunch, it will take love to do it the right way. Since becoming more involved in catering to these needs, I have developed a formula which makes it easy for me to love just about anyone. I’m not perfect and I’m no genius, so this formula may not work for everyone in every situation like it does for me, but it may help you understand my point a bit better.
In order to love, one must first have perspective. Perspective is defined as the ability to view things in their true relations or relative importance. If we could all look at a person and his or her life situations, considering the outcome of that life without positive intervention, maybe we would then realize the things we strive for everyday may not be as significant as we think they are. As a person of Christian faith, what is really important is a person’s life and soul. So if you have those two bases covered, you should be able to share – at least a little of – everything else.
The second thing that you need is compassion, which is defined as a sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. Once we get past the views of “Me, my four and no more”, we can develop a sense of urgency towards those outside of our circles. You will feel a need to help those just like you help those within your circles. At this point, compassion has grasped you, and you will do whatever you can to help whoever needs it. Now once you actually act on compassion and make a conscious decision to help someone in need, you have just committed an act of love.
The world cannot and will not fix itself. America cannot and will not fix itself. We as individuals must take it upon ourselves to change our views towards humanity and change it all one perspective at a time. Everyone can’t give a million dollars to charity, and some of us can’t bear the Christmas season at an orphanage or a children’s hospital, but all of us can do something.
Perspective + Compassion = Love