I believe in so many things it would take an entire lifetime write them all down. But above all, I believe that there has never been anything said more detrimental to society than this quote: “Ignorance is bliss.” Ignorance is BLISS? Does this mean we’re supposed to be HAPPY being completely secluded from all of the problems in the world? Does this mean we’re supposed to be racist bigots because then we have someone to blame all our problems on?
You know what I think? Above all, it won’t be deforestation, it won’t be poverty, it won’t even be global warming that destroys us. Apathy is what will destroy us. It already has. Apathy has torn society apart and ripped it into six billion tiny shreds. Why? Because you’re not accepted in society. You, the “nerd” who actually cares about the world and isn’t some ignorant conformist. And me. Because I’m a Jew and a gay and I stand up for the problems in the world. You know why they hate us? It’s not because we look different, or have different beliefs. It’s because we’re dangerous. We care, and knowledge makes us powerful, even more powerful than apathy itself. When we care, the problems in the world can begin to heal. It is only because of us, the minority in the world, that society hasn’t shattered completely.
Take a look around you. At the average kid, sitting next to you in Biology. He makes a “Jew joke” and you say, “Stop. That’s not funny.” And he is deaf, and he will always be deaf. Does he care? Is he going to change the world? The girl who says, “God hates fags, you’re all going to hell.” Is she going to fix all the problems in society?
No. Only you can. Because you care. But just because you’re the minority, you cannot lose faith. You have to care. You have to have compassion for people and stop the intolerance in the world. You must. It is the only way to save the human race.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.