One day, though, you have to grow up, and realize that not everything is about you. There are other people with problems of their own. And it’s possible that they’re not the only ones who experience the same dilemma. It’s possible that a whole group of people is caught up in the same issues. Some people grow up caring about these issues, and some don’t.
I think that’s one of the signs of maturity. Aside from the obvious, growing up means being aware of others’ problems, and being able to empathize with them. It means taking responsibility.
It’s our responsibility, as citizens of this country and as members of this society, to at least be aware of what’s going on in it. We have to be aware of the problems that people face, not just the problems that we as individuals face. We have to know what’s going on around us, even though it doesn’t really concern us.
But in this day and age, it’s easier to be apathetic. Especially if you’re in a position of privilege, it’s much better to just not give a crap, because why should you?
Is that the kind of world you’d want to live in, though? A world where people don’t care that other people are suffering and being oppressed? A world where people are just plain assholes to each other?
That just isn’t right. I think that if there’s something that we can do to make the world even slightly better for the people who live in it, then we should do it—even if it’s as simple as giving a crap. We should make it our duty to know and to care. No matter what the issue is—racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, corruption, etc.—we should not be ignorant to them, especially if it happens right in our homes.
If we won’t care, who else will?
- Isis Evangelista
Illustration by Frances De Guzman