Many of us are waiting for the world to change. We live our lives as complacent bystanders, as if the problems of the world are not our fault, as if they will somehow miraculously solve themselves. We shrug our shoulders when we hear that a billion people on the planet are starving, we look the other way when children and young adults go off to war, and we pretend not to notice the homeless person on the street.
Sometimes we live our lives as “slacktivists.” That’s a blend of the words “slacker” and “activism.” It means we engage in “feel-good” measures that require minimal personal effort. While these measures might support an issue or a cause that’s important, they have little or no effect on the issue.
In our world today, we aren’t truly engaged or devoted to making a change.
We each must become a responsible warrior. A responsible warrior understands that complacency contributes to the problems of the world, that responsibility and freedom are interchangeable terms, and there’s a fine line between indifference and allowance. Responsible warriors become truly engaged in and devoted to making a difference in the world.
If we do not take personal responsibility for the problems we face, the world will not change. One way to take personal responsibility is to transition from our “small” self to our “big” self. This means seeing ourselves and our place in the world as part of a larger story and understanding that we are here to make a difference. Another way to take responsibility is to extend care and compassion to others. As we improve ourselves and become more “enlightened,” we move along a developmental continuum where we focus less on “me,” and more on “all of us.”
Mother Theresa was a truly enlightened human. She founded the Missionaries of Charity, a religious congregation that runs hospices and home for people with AIDS, soup kitchens, counseling programs, orphanages and schools. She set her own materialistic needs aside in order to give wholehearted and freely to the poorest of the poor.
I know it’s hard to live up to Mother Theresa’s standard but surely each of can make some sort of contribution to the world. By being a little less complacent, a little more compassionate, a little more caring and a little more responsible for what ails the world, we can each make a positive difference.
We must open our eyes and see what is happening in the world all around us. We must come to the grim conclusion that we have allowed our world to get to this unhealthy place. We must realize we are the solution to the crises that we face.
As the Hopi Elders say, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
Debbie L. Kasman
Author Lotus of the Heart: Reshaping the Human and Collective Soul