During the controversial movie “American Sniper,” Chris Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper, says something along the lines of, “While you guys are out here shopping and minding your own business, there’s a war out there.” And it stuck with me.
My problem here is we continue to keep minding our own business, while the fact of the matter is there’s a war outside, and we’re playing indoors.
We get so wrapped up in our one-track society that we forget life is happening.
We are so used to our busy 9 to 5 schedules that we don't even realize ISIS has kidnapped our next-door neighbor, our other neighbor does not know where their next meal is coming from, and our brothers and sisters are orphaned by disease.
This world is cruel, yet I make ice cream dates and power lunches.
Why is this OK?
Why can they hurt, but I am bored because my favorite show didn't record last night?
Why can they starve, while I use lunch dates just for my social gain?
Why can they be neglected, while I stay home today because I’ve spent too much time with people?
Why. Why. Why.
What makes me special?
We all started playing a mind game where our house and the 100-mile range around it were the only things to be considered.
We have started to believe in strict mind over matter, which simply means the use of willpower to overcome physical problems. Except our willpower is ignorance, apathy or just lack of knowledge.
I’ve seen with my bare eyes children in tattered shirts, digging through trash and eating mud. Alternately, I have also seen well-dressed kids digging through their bags to find their iPhones and gluten-free snacks. Why must it be so contrasting?
Why can’t we all have gluten-free snacks and iPhones?
What we have come down to is a society so used to comfort and too used to excess. I know so many of my articles boil on this issue, but it’s a big one. Until we have all shaken hands with a Third World victim, our purpose is incomplete. For humanity to exist and survive, we need to take care of each other.
In the same way Kyle expressed this serious problem in “American Sniper,” we must address it as well. We can’t be so focused on today’s plans and how to manage until Friday. We need to focus on how half the world is surviving until pay day. I don’t mean surviving in the saltine crackers and Ramen noodle soup way. I mean life or death survival.
My challenge to everyone, especially myself, is to make time an issue. In those moments of monotony or empty hours, we really should seek out how we could be better spending our time. There are millions of charities and opportunities to which we can reach out. We just have to make sure our hand is there. In our times of excess, we need to let go. For every five shirts you never wear, there are five people without one. For every step you take into a church, marks you make on a voter registration card and status you make about politicians, remember your freedom. All of these things came at a price in which many of us have never seen the price tag.
Let’s go outdoors and stop minding our own business. We can give help just as much as it is needed.
Matter over mind; let’s start making awareness.