this just in

breaking-news-man

The world is a scary place. We are faced with it every day. If you look back 100 years, can you say with certainty that we are better off? What about 50 years back? How about 20? Hanging in my bedroom is a small collage of war propaganda from the 1920’s up until now. So many clever slogans from combatting countries, so many promises, so much death and destruction. What has really changed? Countries are still at war. People are still faced with hatred and prejudice and racism. World leaders are still claiming that they are the ones who will fix things. Are we capable of learning from the past?

The world is smaller today than it’s ever been. We have access to information from nearly every corner of the planet. All day long we are blasted with media. Does it unnerve anyone else how stories from competing news stations can be word-for-word identical? With the rise of social media, now the masses can report for themselves – and sometimes that’s enough of a source to spark a headliner. Even with our ongoing obsession to know what’s happening all of the time, even with the combined resources of all the media currently available to us, we are still not privy to all of humanities’ secrets.

Somewhere in the world, beautiful and honest and amazing things are happening. People are falling in love. Lives are being shared. There is laughter and excitement, passion and romance, innocence and purity, stillness and peace. By the time you finish reading this blog, hundreds of babies will have been born.

Packed into a filthy hostel that reeked of feet and vomit, I met a lovely girl named Urska from Slovenia. She had a big smile, a big personality, and a breathtaking voice. She found happiness wherever she was through singing. Hearing and watching her sing was witnessing a miracle.

Seeking shelter from a cold rainstorm in a public restroom, I stumbled upon an English lady who was offering free haircuts to strangers because she was bored and wouldn’t make fellow travelers pay. Hours that could have been wasted brooding and shivering were instead filled with girlish chatter.

While living on a farm in the middle of nowhere, a friend of the farmers offered to drive my friend and me into the next town on short notice in the middle of the day so that we could deal with an emergency. The nearest town was approximately 150km away.

If this kind of positivity exists in the world, then why do the front pages and television screens reflect a world in constant terror? Are we meant to be kept afraid? Is it easier to deal with a public that is bound by fear and therefore willing to abide by rules that we’re told will keep us safe? I frequently get stuck on this troubling thought. In my mind, the scale of good vs. evil is immeasurable. And so as humans we have the biggest responsibility of all. Choice.

It’s a thin line to walk, deciding whether to trust what we see and hear. If we trust nothing we are cynical. If we believe everything we are naïve. It’s good to protect ourselves from harm. But if we never risk anything, are we really living? Based on my recent experiences, I have found that the more pure positive energy you put out, the more that comes back at you. So maybe it’s just a matter of taking the first step? Or perhaps it’s just simple mathematics that if you put your hand out enough times, eventually someone will be there to take it. It’s your choice to make. Good luck out there! 🙂

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