Traveling long distances certainly allows me plenty of time to analyze, to ponder, and to reflect. On what, you might ask. Anything really, I would reply. Specifically this past week, a certain theme stirred my brain while I was listening to a particular song on the radio. I guess that’s the side effect of listening to too many songs while driving across the country...
The song is performed by John Mayer and I have no idea what the exact title is, but the line “waiting on the world to change” is what grabbed my attention and what I will focus on here. In accordance with the message coming through the lyrics of this song, I have heard many acquaintances and friends argue that the world we live in demands that people sometimes act in ways that might not be aligned with their aspirations for all humans to be able to enjoy their basic rights. When I discuss with them the issue of human trafficking, for example, they seem to honestly believe that everyday people do not have the power to stand up for freedom and overwhelm the unjust system oppressing so many. Simply put, they are convinced that there is nothing they can do to avoid purchasing slave-made products and ensure that all labour is appropriately rewarded. Lastly, they content that if that world were to change and allow for equal access to basic necessities to enjoy one’s life, then they would be ready to join in and will not fight the new world at all.
Well, I am tired of everyone wanting the world to change while continuing to live lives that reinforce the existence of inequality, poverty, and slavery. The moment someone starts saying, “If things were different,…,” I emphasize that we cannot simply wait for the world to change so that we can act in ways that are environmentally friendly and that do not require that those less fortunate are regularly exploited. We must play an active part to bring about the change we want to see. To achieve this, we need to work hard to become not only better and more educated consumers, but we should also evolve to become better and more educated advocates. Since each person is an integral part of the unfair world she or he is not satisfied with, the best place to start the process of change is within that same person. And since I am still under the influence of a music theme, I just have to include here one of the greatest songs on the importance of personal change.