There are over 795 million hungry people in the world, according to The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization. To put this into perspective, that is almost a hundred times the population of New York City. Obviously this is only one of the major problems in the world. I choose to focus on this one because, there are (usually) no debates about it. Eating is a basic need that all of humanity shares, therefore it is tough for anyone to put a divisive, political spin on it. It is also something every person I know can do something about. And yet, if you turn on any news station, you will not hear about it.
The media bombard us with anything that causes fear. The entertainment industry bombards us with anything that causes titillation, distraction and dissipation. So the messages are: be afraid it’s a terrible world-and by the way, get as much pleasure as you can for yourself. The worst part of all of this is that according to Movieguide, the more intelligent a person is, the more they are affected by media. The current situation is a perfect formula for stagnation at best, and at worst, destruction.
My work allows me to speak to young people often. It is a perk because young people are normally filled with fire and excitement. Or at least I thought. These days I am seeing a lot of flat tires, already tired of life at 20. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people speak of immoral behavior and try convince me, and themselves, it is not harmful because they are not “hurting anyone”. (Of course, that is only if no one finds out.) I also wonder if people consider the sin of omission. Yes, I said sin. No I am not getting religious (as if somehow that would discredit what I’m saying?) The word sin is in the dictionary as “something regarded as being shameful, deplorable or utterly wrong.” The sin of omission points to any good we could have done for others, and we didn’t. At very least, I would ask anyone with the obsession of pleasure seeking, whether or not it is sin to ignore the needs, even the most basic needs, of others around us.
In a polite society like ours, we hear a lot of nice words. When the rubber hits the road, how many people actually take the time to show care and/or concern? One reason I love the movie DUNKIRK is because it raises the question that many of us ask ourselves in a defeated sort of way, “what can one person do?” As we found in the case of DUNKIRK, one person, multiplied by thousands, can do a lot.
Another good example of what one person can do is Mother Teresa. She was one person, one very small person may I add, who faced the 795 million hungry person epidemic. By her life’s work, she influenced over 5,000 people to date, to live the way she did. Mother Teresa, is responsible for the basic care of millions being met because she refused to believe anyone who said she could not make a difference. She often said, “You do not have to do great things. You can do small things wth great love.”
Obviously most of us will never be a Mother Teresa, but we can all do a little more. Media have hijacked our humanity. Maybe it starts with turning off the TV or media devices, as they are only out for ratings. Or perhaps, we can watch less. And if we are to continue pumping out garbage from Hollywood, to our own country and to the rest of the world, the very least we can do is call it garbage and not a life to aspire to. If we as a society can accomplish only this, we have a good chance at seeing the reality; we have serious problems in the world and each one of us can do something about it.