To the skeptics and the willingly blind,
Recently, a friend and I was talking about politics and current events and this phrase was uttered:
“I think people are exaggerating. Well, it’s not like the world is going to end.”Or something to that effect; I don’t remember it word-by-word.
And immediately, it had a gut-clenching effect of hopelessness and frustration on me. The phrase contains a world of privilege that some would sacrifice everything to have.
That simple phrase opened up a chasm of experience between suffering and a TV screen, death and the even voice of a newscaster. The individuals and the statistics used to represent them. The eye-watering emotion of a well-written book and the inert words that you could stop reading at any time… except not everyone is able to “go back to the real world”.
If you’re tired of seeing the news, you turn it off and ignore it and keep on with your days. You don’t want to see suffering, you close the door so you don’t have to hear your parents watching the news. When you walk past people demonstrating or petitioning and you’re irritated they’re wasting your time.
No, these issues aren’t your fault as a common citizen but to numb your awareness is to walk around intentionally blind. To live in a black-and-white world because you couldn’t handle the sensation of colors. Besides, you wouldn’t want others to turn away in your time of need so why would you towards others?
Feel the anger. Feel the sadness. Feel everything when you see broken little bodies coming out of elementary schools, feel everything when you see the bodies of mothers cold over their infants, feel for the village of children where everyone else has been eaten up by War. Feel when you see men treated worse than animals, when women become faceless and when the profit of one trump the good of many.
Of course, the world wouldn’t end. Society and people would carry on but remember: society, laws and rules don’t protect people, rather, it is the people who protect society, the status quo, the law.
When a middle schooler came home to find her mother deported, don’t you think her world ended just a little?
When a man was short $50 on his GoFundMe to pay for life-saving insulin, he literally died. He left behind an ailing mother who also passed away.
When a teenager is forced to give birth to a malformed infant after a rape or a rape survivor has to see her rapist granted custody of her child, feeling less than a worm on the sidewalk, don’t you think their worlds have ended then?
When a parent travels thousands of miles because even the threat of death isn’t enough to make them stay only to see their child die at the doorstep to freedom when they needed to be treated like people but were instead deemed worse than vermin, don’t you think their worlds ended?
These millions of little deaths individually should be worth more than the comfort and ignorant bliss you get from closing your eyes and ears.
It’s not about you, okay? IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU! Your discomfort, unease, whatever it is, does not compare to this monumental suffering. It’s doesn’t mean that one has to be consumed with it but the worst one can do is turn their back and become tired. Because, that’s when hope is lost. This devil of fatigue, of mental sleep is so alluring because it feels unfair to feel the burden of suffering you didn’t cause and feel too little to alleviate but even if one in one hundred can bear it and cry out and say “I hear you”, then just in the US, that would be three million voices strong.
So, don’t turn away. Feel every one of these little deaths like pricks on your skin. Let them tattoo you and empower you to act and change a world that isn’t nice.
“It is not that we have no heart or eyes for pain. We are all afraid. We all have our miseries. But to despair is to wish for something already lost. Or to prolong what is already unbearable.”
from the Joy Luck Club
This isn’t the best time for a “I told you so” in regards to the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean and the ones coming up along the US’s southern coast. However, it is also the best time before people start blaming lesbians and gays for God’s supposed wrath. In fact, they’ve already started so I might as well.
Let’s get this straight. Climate change did not cause the hurricanes. They made the hurricanes worse. In short, hurricanes are formed over swathes of warm water in the ocean and with the global water temperature rising, this not only expands the area in which potential hurricanes can form but also contributes to their severity and duration when they do form.
For more on how hurricanes are formed, click here.
One of the reasons why the term global warming was changed to climate change is because the change in the average temperature of global temperature doesn’t result in warmer weather everywhere. Some areas got colder, others got droughts or more severe blizzards. So it’s not just hurricanes and typhoons that form because of climate change; it affects the global weather system and throws it out of whack.
Just look at the trillions of gallons of water dumped on Southern Texas by Harvey. Having a Category 4 hurricane hit Texas full-on is definitely not an usual event (it is the first since Hurricane Carla in 1961). Then, we have Irma coming up Florida and during the time of writing, projected to go through Georgia and linger around Nashville, Tennessee. That’s also saying nothing about Jose that’s forming behind Irma.
God must really want to punish the gays, huh?
That’s all. This is Lieutenant and I’ll talk to you later.
That said, now that Irma has passed over the Carribean islands, it is the time for recovery. I’ve done my part in donating. Let’s make this an opportunity to learn. It’s not too late to turn this back. If we can just minimise our carbon emissions and keep to the Paris Climate Agreement despite the President, then we can save uncountable lives that don’t need to be put at stake in the future. If we don’t, then no one is safe. Irma is going to make headway into the central United States in the coming days. It is a sign. Even if it’s in a form that are not hurricanes, be it locust swarms or malaria outbreak, climate change will affect everyone. The ones who will be affected most are the common people who don’t have the means to be able to pack up and go. Decide wisely. What you do now will affect the rest of your life and the ones in the rest of the world. Call out the heavy hitters. Make phone calls to your congresspeople. Let’s try to not make the US the one responsible for pushing Earth onto the path to destruction.