An essay commemorating MLK which we had to write for class so, there are some formal things required by my teacher which I would have done without.
There are two conflicting lessons you learn by growing up which collide to form hopeful, restless ambition: the world is an imperfect place, and empathy is its solvent. ”Empathy is the sunlight to the vampire of culture.”(Stefan Molyneux) I say that in light of my recent surge towards politics and my realization of corrupt society. Oddly enough, I am not turned off by this revelation but intrigued. I have humanist, idealistic hopes of change by way of education, the empowerment of women, travel, science, and art.
Indoctrination and ignorance are defining characteristics which are shared by poverty ridden and prejudiced regions. An example is: Eastern Europe, where the remnants of the filtering of intellect and opinion in the USSR are thriving. According to the author G.K. Chesterton, “Without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.” According to the EFA report of Oct. 2013, “Globally, over 40 years, income per capita would be 23% higher in a country with more equal education.” Education provides a shovel with which you may dig yourself out of the initial, unfortunate state of poverty. It also diversifies a community and forces them to attempt empathizing, creating a more inclusive, less bigoted, dogmatic culture in which ideas and opinions are valued over preconceptions. According to the article Education and Indoctrination in the Muslim World, “… the United States is an active player in the international education scene. Unlike U.S. diplomatic and military policy, however, its educational activities are not widely debated in the media or even widely studied within the scholarly community. That will have to change if we are to realize our aspirations for stable, friendly, and productive international relations” (Coulson 2). In short, education has time and time again proven itself a highway to higher living.
Women are half of the population, and should this huge portion be set free, so might the world. The thoughts of the UN Women are in harmony with mine, saying: “Investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth…women make enormous contributions to economies… but they also remain disproportionately affected by poverty, discrimination and exploitation…gender discrimination means women often end up in insecure, low-wage jobs, and constitute a small minority of those in senior positions. It curtails access to economic assets such as land and loans. It limits participation in shaping economic and social policies.” As I must provide a solution as well as an acknowledgement of the problem, education seems yet again to be our savior. Gender inequality is not just a human rights atrocity and blatant contradiction to what we say we support but, a tendency which holds us all back. We must refuse to associate ourselves with those who decide to oppress our people, our children, citizens, contributors, artists, academics, politicians, scientists due to any of their characteristics which are out of their controlled realm.
I have painted my dreams upon the idea of travel; the magic of seeing a sea of faces which don’t look like mine. I will not sit waiting for a chance to realize the enormity of my existence and experience that certain connectivity to my world. Exploring the extant ideologies, controversies, mores, and sights light the fire which might press me into the ranks. Travel forces you to think, to inquire, include. You are made closer to problems which have not previously touched your life. You might see the grossly unsettling crying face of an emaciated child in contrast to a beautifully natural scene of Earth and be called to a cause which you have not seriously considered prior to this singularity of emotion. I dare to subject myself to this turmoil.
Science, truth, and questions are my religion. I have complete faith in the positive effect a higher rate of science literacy might have on the world. This walks together with my belief in education. You mustn’t be a scientist to be scientifically literate, simply have an elementary understanding of the workings and laws upon which your world is set. “So you can actually take that piece of science and come out of it with almost a deeper spiritual connection to nature…but let’s say that you don’t even have those kinds of altruistic sensibilities, then science literacy allows you to understand the causes and effects of your actions... scientific literacy can contribute to what kind of legislation you might pass…so that your descendants can be proud of you, rather than embarrassed by the fact that you were not good caretakers of the world they inherited.” (Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and host of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey)
Art is simply an expression. Empathy again appears to be the theme. I weep at a song outlining the struggles of gaining equality for homosexuality although I myself have not experienced this struggle. I find in the face of the focus of a painting or photograph my own life, and suddenly feel a surge of compassion towards this specific person and their obstacles. I write and watch as my mother reads over my piece, her eyes cue that she suddenly feels our similarities and understands me more deeply. Art is universal, no scholarly study needed, just emotions.
Using these ideals which I dare to dream and have come to love and because the ugly traditions of this place do not deter me, I will change the world.