Before this past month, I used to think of war as a nonexistent thing, as if it was going on somewhere in the world and I was completely unaffected by it. During class, when learning about war I’d think, “Wow, only 100 people died? That’s so little.” because I compared it to the losses of other wars. The deaths occurring seemed more like a fictional story that never really happened.
Deep inside though I always knew how tragic even just one death in a battle was, especially to the people who knew that one person. However, because I don’t like to dwell on the unpleasant, I try to block it out by making it seem fake or unrelated to me.
So I must ask, why do we avoid the problems and tragedies of others? We say we would help them if we could, but how do we know there’s no way we can? How do we know it’s hopeless? To be honest, I don’t have the answer myself. Sometimes I pass off my unwillingness to help with indifference. Perhaps that really is the reason, although I hate to imagine how cruel I must be because of that. To ignore the problems of others just because I am indifferent, it feels terrible. I know to an extent I care about them and the things they’re going through. I feel sorry for them, even angry perhaps, but not angry or sorry enough to do anything.
That is the problem with the majority of us humans. We often say “I feel so sorry for you” or “I wish I could help”, and never do anything as a result. Although we care about others, we tend to ignore and forget about them and their problems because it makes us unhappy. Many of us only do something when there’s something in it for us. In example, say there’s a child whose parents have both just died and is now an orphan. You feel sorry for them and “wish you could help”, but quickly want to forget about them and move on. But then you realize that because you are a Junior or Senior in high school, colleges are looking for some role of leadership or contribution to society. So then you decide to find a couple to adopt that child, and to found a society to help fund for this child and for others who are having similar problems.
Many of us are like that, whether it be high schoolers, children, or adults. We who do nothing for others or only do what benefits us are no different from the person in this hypothetical situation. You may think, “How terrible this person is, to only help a child because it benefits their future role in society.” However, are you not the same to some extent? I believe many people have experienced this level of selfishness at least once in their life, and that most will not admit it and condemn others for their actions. I hope that someday I may contribute to the cause of opening others’ eyes, instead of lying around doing nothing and feigning ignorance over the fact that I am selfish and indifferent towards the problems of others. This may just end up being another “I wish I could help” scenario, but we shall see to what extent my goal will reach. I refuse to allow myself to be this idiotic any longer, and I hope you too will refuse this.