Sometimes, when I think about all of the injustices in the world, I want to scream. It's enough to make me want to become a misanthrope. The worst part is that as a teenager and just one teenager, I feel so powerless in the face of it all. I'm not just sitting here and bitching, at least. I volunteer, and I do so not just because I have to. On a few occasions, I've donated large sums of money to charities I support. I speak out for causes I believe in and while I don't think I've changed anyone's mind yet, I do think that I've at least made them think.
But still, there are so many things out there. Whenever I still think about the Holocaust, I think why the hell is this still going on? More importantly, why does no one care? Whenever I think about those people who shouldn't have had those kids and I just think.... How could you have been so stupid? So cruel? So selfish? Sometimes, I wonder why someone didn't call CPS on these people and/or why they got even a little bit of custody in court.
That anger is needed. Someone needs to be angry, because that's how things get done. If people didn't get angry, there wouldn't be any social changes done. Sometimes, anger is the first step even when that anger is that primitive anger that one cannot fully express. Anger is good, as long as that anger is kept in check (in other words, go Martin Luther King not Malcolm X).
In the matters I mentioned above, I am pretty much powerless. There's not much I can do about it. But still, I can do something. I can speak up and maybe get an adult to write a letter to Congress about other people. I can inform other people. I can do things not to contribute to world problems. In the case of my friend, I might not be able to get my friend to stop talking to her dad and I might not get my friend's dad to stop his abusive behavior, but I can be there for her. I am powerless in some ways, but there are still things I can do.
Sometimes, it's easy to get wrapped up in the problems of the world. Of course, I can't get too angry or else it will consume my life. At this point, I have learned how to care and feel angry without being consumed by these feelings and feeling hurt myself. For instance, I remember being in camp and we had to spend time with the people in our dorm. We had to list one good thing about our day, and one bad thing. My best friend had called and told me that when she had visited her dad, he had been verbally abusive.... again. Add that to a messy string in her parent's divorce (which, even though she was seven, is still quite an issue today), a whole story that I don't feel quite comfortable sharing here without her permission. That was my bad thing. Anyway, the counselor said it must be rough going through that at camp but.... Yeah, I felt bad a little bit and I tried to comfort her, but ultimately, I wouldn't let that affect my time at camp. So, while I am pissed off and while I do care, I can't let it affect me too much. Other times, I have to shake off my anger after I hear something to do something else (mostly, it's because people, quite frankly, either don't care that much or don't want to deal with it).
At the same time, ignoring problems will only make them worse. We, as a society, must look at problems and we must talk about them but as individuals, we cannot be consumed about them. There is a balance. Anger over injustice is needed, but it also needs to be balanced with rationality.
Ultimately, though, remember that change starts with you, dear reader, and me. And if we can change, maybe everyone else can change too.