Not everyone is privileged. And not everyone who is privileged is spoiled. But you could be spoiled if you have the means to acquire knowledge but choose not to use it. When people, even though small in number, who have the power and the ability to make a difference ― no matter how small ― make a conscious decision to not be aware of things that might not have a direct effect on them, then we as a society, would fail.
We are quick to blame the ‛society’ for how it keeps failing and disappointing us, but we forget that we are the society, and every time we excuse ourselves from our responsibilities as human beings, we become worse than the very people we try to put the blame on.
We have somehow reached the conclusion that if we cannot do anything about an issue then it is futile for us to pay any heed to it. But, what we fail to realize is that ignorance is worse than failure or inability. By being open to the idea of knowledge and education (not necessarily in its formal form), we grow as humans. We learn to think for ourselves. We learn to differentiate between right and wrong, and are no more controlled by the society at large. We learn to question and we learn the answers ourselves. Education does not mean facts and figures, education means achieving independence.
Reading about how some thousands of miles away children are being detained behind bars and kept away from their parents, makes us realize how laws can be wrong and sometimes how important it becomes to question these laws. Knowing that some hundreds of miles away people are fleeing the very land where they have lived for centuries because their lives are in danger, we realize how our hatred for our neighbours can do irreparable damage. If the news of an innocent man in your city getting lynched by an angry mob, which didn’t care to think, scares you, then you realize how apathy and a judgmental attitude can be dangerous too. By knowing how a woman your mother’s/ sister’s/ wife’s/ daughter’s/ friend’s/ your own or even an infant’s age, or scratch that, how a human in your neighbourhood can become a victim of sexual violence, you realize how sick and twisted your community can be. Awareness makes you more humane.
We just need to understand that it is necessary for us to do our part. Every problem we ignore is a problem we delay. So if we do not use the resources at our fingertips to keep ourselves up to date with more than just pop culture, then we are not helping the solution; we’re instead fuelling the problem. I know how speaking up can be scary and that the chances of failure to change someone/ something outweigh those of success, compelling us to hold ourselves back. But I also know that there are ways in which a conversation can still be held; questions can still be asked even if we’re scared to contradict the answers. What matters is that we know, we think, we opine, we ask and we try, and most importantly, that we don’t stop.