“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
Human beings are surprisingly good at ignoring things. For some, it seems like our nature is to turn a blind eye when confronted by an injustice that isn’t close to home. Events that would normally stir a furious outcry barely garner significant attention when it happens outside of the United States. Or, we become resigned to the perceived fact that this is just the way things are, and it’s too far away to change it. However, it is this concept that is holding us back from change. The problem lies not within human nature, but instead resides within the general perspective that many Americans hold today regarding foreign injustice.
Looking to Syria For a Reality Check
According to esteemed humanitarian group World Vision, an estimated 11.4 million Syrians have been displaced from their homes by the constant hostilities between Syrian rebels, ISIS, and the totalitarian regime of Bashar al-Assad. Two million of these refugees are children. Yet, these figures do not resonate with the average American.
In fact, the opposite has occurred. Recently, there have even been efforts to bring the already low figure of Syrian immigration to a standstill. Republican Chairman Mike McCaul stated in a Homeland Security hearing that, ” …this would be a federally sanctioned welcome party, if you will, to potential terrorists in the United States.” Statements like these illustrate the flaws of American perspective on foreign injustice. Instead of seeing these refugees for who they really are, human beings who like and do the same things as us, some Americans only regard them as a terrorist threat.
The Importance of Perspective
Global perspective is crucial to becoming a socially conscious member of the community. Even individuals who have no plans on becoming an activist should strive to develop an increased perspective. It can be easy to fall into the traditional mindset that calamities like the crisis in Syria would never befall us, so there is no obligation to help these people. But, take a look at where you are right now.
It is highly likely that if you are reading this article, you are in a substantially better position than these refugees or the countless other victims of oppression worldwide. Even if you are a young adult, it is also likely that you hold more tools and have access to more methods of change than one of these individuals. Therefore, if these types of refugees do not possess the means to adequately advocate for themselves, the duty of this task falls to capable individuals and organizations that can spearhead decisive change for them. The global amount of refugees has reached over fifty million for the first time since World War 2, and they desperately need our help.
By striving to change outdated perspectives found today, we can begin developing a new, humanitarian society that sees international victims for the people they are and not just a liability to the state. Right now, perspective’s perspective is wrong, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Let’s work to find it within ourselves to keep the larger picture in mind, and to remember how fortunate we are to have commodities so many others do not. If these two concepts remain in our collective memory, we will have taken a vital step as a society towards fostering a long-term global perspective.
Written By: Sam Gorman, Founder of Youngchange-Bestchange
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