It is said that ignorance is bliss. I can´t completely refute that. It is true that we are many times happier for what we ignore than for what we know. Nevertheless, this blissfulness brought on by ignorance is short-lived and can carry a long series of devastating effects and pain in the future. It is like instant gratification; it can bring certain happiness on the short-term, but negative consequences and suffering on the long-term.
It is not uncommon for society to turn a blind eye to things that make them feel uncomfortable, after all, suffering, discomfort and pain are emotions that we fight strongly to avoid every day. So when uncomfortable truths come knocking on our door it can be easy to ignore and look the other way just so we can live in blissful ignorance for a bit longer.
However, these uncomfortable truths cannot and should not be ignored by us any longer, they need our attention and action, because ignoring them any longer means making the problem worse.
1. The Syrian Refugee Crisis
According to statistics for Al Jazeera, more than 2.7 million people have left their war-torn home in Syria to seek refuge in other places, the majority are in refugee camps in Turkey. Up to a million Syrian children have lost one or both of their parents. The lucky ones are in orphanages but the majority of orphaned children are living on the streets.
I understand that we´re not all politicians and we don´t hold the power to put a stop to such a bloody war but we still have power. There are many organizations accepting donations for the refugees and orphans like Syrian Orphans. If you´re planning on having children, how about instead adopting one from Syria? It would be a nice way to give back to the world and save a life.
However it is that you decide to help, the important part is to help! Let’s remember that we share this world and while you´re sitting comfortably at home reading this story there are millions of people who are in refugee camps or living on the streets.
2. Environmental Damage
Every single thing that you buy has an environmental footprint on the planet. People who eat meat have a massive environmental footprint on the planet. Your car has an environmental footprint and pretty much everything that you do has an environmental footprint. Even deciding to procreate does, and it also means that your children will inherit the consequences to your actions. Are those consequences worth inheriting? Very likely no. Then what are you doing about it?
We can´t wait for someone else to take the first step on this one, because it is a collective problem that we as a society are causing. It takes simple but lasting actions from each and every one of us to actually make a change and pass this planet to future generations in a better shape than we got it. We are over-populated, over-consuming and over-polluting. So think, what are each of us doing about it?
We´re 7.3 billion people on the planet. According to a study performed by Stanford University the ideal world population is a third of our current one. I understand that the majority of the current population desires to have children, but if you love the children you don‘t have, what is truly best for them is to not be born in a world that is not capable of supporting them.
It is our generation (the millennials) who need to give up the idea of having children and pay the price that that carries so we can stabilize the world population to healthier levels. If we decided to adopt instead of procreating we would not only be saving the lives of children, but we´d be lowering the statistics of poverty, crime and overpopulation. It is not fair on future generations to have to pay for the selfishness of their parents and to be brought into a world that is every day falling into a deeper hole of poverty, pollution, violence and OVERPOPULATION!
4. Consumerism is Ruining Us
It is all a lie! You don´t need the latest iPhone, or that fancy French purse, you don´t need to be switching cars every year and you don´t need 90% of the clothes you have. Fashion was invented to make people buy it and to make people BUY!! It´s destroying our planet, our economies and our emotional health.
Stop buying! According to the short documentary The Story of Stuff, 99 percent of the stuff we harvest, mine, process, transport—99 percent of the stuff we run through this system is trashed within 6 months.
5. Racism and Discrimination
Racism is unfortunately very much alive and flourishing. Even the American presidential candidate Donald Trump is promoting it. But it is up to us, who I hope is the majority of the world population, to put a stop to it. We truly need to stop labeling each other by our differences, like: religion, skin color, race, sexual orientation, gender and nationality and start unifying ourselves for the simple fact that we are all human.
It wasn’t too long ago when black people where being burned and hanged from trees in the south of the USA. Today they´re being shot by policemen and their murderers are protected by the law. My fellow countrymen and women are being hunted down by immigration laws as if they were just a pest, Muslims are automatically being labeled as terrorists and mistreated, homosexuals are still fighting to be considered equal to heterosexuals and enjoy basic rights and women around the world are still subjected to discrimination, sexism and abuse.
It´s the XXI century and worldwide there´s still a war of violent racism and discrimination. Till when? Racism and discrimination stops when we put a stop to it, when we stand up not only for ourselves but for others as well. If we don´t unify today for basic rights, who will stand up for us tomorrow?