"Contestant No. 258, please step on to the stage."
Nervously, the curly haired, white toothed contestant stepped towards center stage, her gown glistening in the spotlight. The interview round was the most dreaded round, and it was her turn to answer the question that fate had in store for her.
"Now, tell us, if you were to have any wish made true, what would you choose?" asked the grinning host.
Phew. That's an easy one. You've been training for months on how to answer this one.
"Well," answered the contestant, "if I were given any wish to be granted, I would want world peace." Teary eyed, the judges presented her with a crown embellished with jewels, embellishments and sequins.
World peace. We all want it, but how can we achieve it? Headlines preach to the choir the ongoing violence and conflict seen not only internationally, but within our own community. Is it only meant to be dreamed of for a utopian society? Will it ever occur?
The first step to world peace is to defeat the enemy of indifference.
Growing up, I loved watching the cartoons that would play on Saturday morning television. The superhero would defeat the villain and save the damsel in distress, just in the nick of time! However, as I grew older, I realized that superheroes are not always men in red tights that have superpowers, but are ordinary people like you and me who decide to stand for something. Damsels in distress are often times children fighting for a piece of bread or cup of milky water, or a woman struggling to get an education. But most of all, the villain never bluntly aspires to take over the world, but rather, our hearts. This villain is named Indifference, and he'll give you every reason to turn your back on the suffering seen daily.
It's not your job, he taunts, you're just a kid. This job is too big for you to fix. Why should you care about the plight of people thousands of miles away from you? You've never asked for help, and you made it out okay. These people are just begging for attention.
While the enemy of Indifference pierces into the hearts of many, standing up against him is the first step to world peace. We can't fight for a cause we don't care about. We've all read statistics about sex trafficking, aids, or poverty; but how many times do we look at this statistic and imagine the face of a friend, a lover, a parent, a sibling? Imagine the animal suffering in the infamous television commercials as your first pet, or the child on the street begging as your future son or daughter. Learn to care. Give compassion.
We all want to make a difference, and I do not know one person enthralled by the idea of war. But in order to accomplish this, we must abolish our current way of thinking, and expel the thought that I cannot make a difference. You can make a difference, and it starts by making a choice to care about the people suffering across the street, and across the world.