CHANGE CAN HAPPEN. IT’S UP TO US NOW!
by Tedesa Johns, USA
Today in America we face so many different problems. These problems affect each and every one of us. The majority of U.S citizens are aware of these problems. Most of those citizens are directly affected by them. There is a small percentage of the U.S population who are not affected. Those people do not even seem to be aware that their fellow citizens are facing those problems every day. They don’t notice because they choose not to. They have the financial stability and social standing that keeps them separated from the rest. They prefer to believe in the illusion that the world they are familiar with is the only one that exists.
If those people were forced to confront the real world and the struggles within, they may finally see the problems and the urgency to finding their solutions. I don’t mean just to take them for a ride and view the scenery. They should be forced to experience living in a small, less than adequate home or apartment. They should be given a plastic card and told that they have only a small, limited amount for which to buy food. They should be given another card and told that their medical care would be limited and that they could see only certain doctors that accept that card. Their vehicles should be taken away and replaced by another that can barely stay running and that looks to be falling apart. When that vehicle breaks down, tell them they have to take a city bus. They should have to work in less than favorable conditions.
They should know what it’s like to have a job that isn’t in a comfortable office. Some should learn what it’s like to have to work at all. They should try working in a hot, crowded factory, working for minimum wage in a fast food restaurant, or as a city worker collecting garbage or repairing streets. Many of us go to these kinds of jobs every day. And we do it because we have to survive and take care of our families. We are looked down upon by the wealthy, but they depend on us a lot more than they realize. If we all refused to go to our jobs for one day, their day would be more affected than ours. Who would prepare and serve their food? Who would collect their garbage? Who would maintain their expensive vehicles for them? Without us, they would have to learn to do everything on their own. Then they wouldn’t have time for golf, cocktails, parties, vacations or any of the things they enjoy doing in order to show off their wealth.
They depend so heavily upon us, that one would assume that they would take notice and do whatever necessary to address the problems that we face. Maybe if they really have to survive an entire day without us, they may begin to see things differently. But, it’s not enough just to see or become aware of the problems. We need actions. There are many people in the “upper” class that have the power and ability to affect change for the betterment of this country. They just choose not to. We need to continue shoving the issues in their face until they take notice. The truth may be unpleasant but they can’t hide from it or ignore it forever. Yes, it’s unpleasant and for some of us, it’s life. It’s our life and we do what we can to make the best of it. We may not be rich or famous, but we do have rights. That’s the beauty of living in the great U.S.A.
Not only are there issues right here at home. There are countries all around this great big world that are full of people who face problems of their own every day. Many of those problems are the same as ours, but there are some that are far worse. There are entire communities who suffer from or deal with AIDS. Places where people are lucky to come by any food at all. Places where children are forced into prostitution. Places where violence is the only way of life that they’ve ever known. Places where burying a child is common and occurs on a daily basis. Places where some people live their whole lives never knowing what the inside of a classroom looks like. These kinds of problems are found everywhere. Some places are worse than others, but — the point is — they’re there.
As human beings we need to learn to care about our fellow man. We have our own problems here at home, but we must not ignore the struggle our brothers and sisters face all over the world. If each one of us could learn to love our fellow man, this world would become a much better place for all of us. If we choose to ignore the struggles people in other countries face, then we are no different than those who ignore our struggles here at home. We can’t expect people to care about us if we don’t care about others. Some of us may have struggles every day, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t take the time to consider those who have it worse than we do.
There are so many things we can all do to help our fellow man, woman and child. If you live in a large city or any city where the homeless are seen on benches and in alleys, you can do a few things to make a difference. Instead of throwing out leftovers, wrap them up and take a walk and give them to the first homeless person you see. When you go through your clothes to get rid of the things you no longer wear, take those clothes and give them to someone who has only the clothes on his/her back. If you have blankets that you’re thinking of throwing out because they are a little worn out, take them and cover up the person sleeping on the ground or bench. If getting rid of some of your kids’ old toys, give them to a child who doesn’t have any. That child won’t care that they’re used.
You don’t have to be wealthy to make a difference. Sometimes a moment of your time can make all the difference in a person’s day. We all have the ability to affect change in some way. It’s so much easier to look the other way and ignore the problems in the world around you. If you have ever struggled with anything in your whole life and someone was there to help you, remember what that meant to you. Remember, and just think of how much it could mean to someone else if you were there to help them. You don’t have to do anything big. Sometimes it’s the smallest gestures that mean the most and do the most good.
We can’t continue to sit at home watching television and complaining about how horrible the world is. We can’t sit and criticize others for not caring while we do nothing ourselves. I don’t know about everyone else, but I want to see some positive changes. Change can happen, and it starts with each and every one of us. We all have to be willing to make some changes ourselves before we can expect the whole world to change. This world has great potential, and so does everyone in it.
As human beings, we need to be united, not divided. No matter what country we’re from, what color our skin is or what religion we practice, we are all human beings. Sexual orientation, social class, and age should no longer matter either. There is no room in this world for hate and violence. To continue on this path will only lead to our own destruction. Hope is not lost. It lies within each of us. To lose hope is to give up, and I’m not willing to do that.
I’m a mother, a daughter, a niece, a cousin, a granddaughter and a friend. I’m a human being.
I’m an Activist for all rights and causes. I am a citizen of the world and I love every person in it. I’m going to keep fighting for a better, brighter future for all of us. I will proudly stand with each and every one of you in the face of adversity and together we will prevail. We can’t sit quietly and wait for someone else to change things for us. It’s up to us now. Our future and the future of our children are in our hands. There are more of us than there are of them. It’s time we make our voices heard. We deserve a world without violence, hate, greed, and discrimination. We deserve a world without suffering, hunger, and disease. I’m willing to fight for it.
We owe it to ourselves and our children to speak up. We need to make others take notice. It’s time for change and the time is now. We can’t afford to wait any longer. Are you willing to?