I probably read a bit too much. Not books, like I should be. Not often fun things, but I have a habit of reading things that infuriate and upset me. I’m talking about news, the media, and the latest thing that we are told should get us riled up and motivated to some sort of action.

It makes me miserable.

I’ve been told before that it’s better to ignore a lot of what occurs in the world, that I can’t let it drag me down or that there’s nothing I can really do about it all anyway. I suppose that, in a sense, those people are correct. There are far too many terrible things for me to do much about them, and so limited are my resources that the effective contribution I can make to things beyond my own backyard is roughly nil.

That being said, I would say that caring too little is worse than not caring enough. Sure, I’m not going to fly over to Syria to drag injured people out of rubble, but if I have one skill then it is my writing and my talking.

If anyone has ever met me, they know that I certainly have the gift of the gab. Though typically introverted, all I need is a topic and I love to discuss just about anything with people. Give me something I’m passionate about and I can write you an essay.

Yes, I care too much. But I care. I can talk to people about the major social justice issues of the world because they ARE important. While many of them do not affect me directly, they do affect people. I’m asked what the use is in caring about people so far away, but what about the flip side of that?

What if no one cared? What if no one paid any attention to atrocities being committed the world over? We’re a global society. We are so intricately connected that we cannot help but notice the events of foreign countries. In a time where the actions and efforts of the average human being have more impact on the world than they ever have, we cannot help but ignore the plight of those in need. To ignore them would, I say, be inhuman.

We can’t let every little thing bog us down, though. We can’t worry about everything. So what do we do? How do we survive the noise, the screaming of a million people in pain, without shutting them out?

Breathe. Just breathe. Savour the feeling of breath in your lungs, of life in your body. You are alive. Where there is life, there is hope. You may never end world hunger yourself. You may never solve all the world’s ills in your lifetime.

In a world where humanity always seems to teeter on the brink, though, you can bring a little more of the human side of our species to the fore. Be a good person. Do what little you can, because if we all do a little, we can all make the world a better place.

And smile, because the world is gloomy enough without frowns adding to it. You’re alive. You have hope. A better life is a smile and a kind word away.