One Piece At A Time

Nathan - St. Louis, Missouri
Entered on December 19, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I see it every day on the news: pirates strike again in Somalia, terrorists kill civilians in Mumbai, a child was kidnapped by his mother, more rockets are fired into Israel… the list goes on. Yet every day, we as humans insist that these people are the exception to the rule, and not the rule with exceptions. Every day, I become less and less inclined to believe them. After all, if we are really innately good, then why must we suffer? Why are good people killed, and the guilty roam free? Would it really be that hard to reconcile our differences, if we only gave it a shot? I am inclined to believe that the world is not inherently good, but rather inherently evil.

But then the next question I ask myself is, if the world is so bad, why do people get up every day to face it? For that matter, why do I get up to face the world every day? After all, I seem to have convinced myself that the world is a bad place. I would love to turn over in my bed and bury my head in the pillow, but I do not. Something stops me. But… what is that secret something? It can only be one thing. Because I believe that the world is a bad place, I wake up every day, and I know that if someone is going to fix the world, it is going to have to start with me. The Rabbi Hillel once said, “If not now, when?” If I did not maintain this outlook, it would be oh-so-easy to go back to sleep, but this is not the fate that I want to yield to. My belief is that it is my duty to do my part to fix the world. This is the only way that we can ever improve our world. When flipping through channels on TV late at night, I see men and women prostate themselves before God and cry for forgiveness. Why not take this zeal for a better world, and channel it towards something a little bit more productive? If everyone was nicer to one person every day, and treated them with respect and respected their dignity, we could improve a lot in not a lot of time.

However, I am being too idealistic. I have already said how I feel about human nature. It would be quixotic of me to imagine that everyone in the world would suddenly be inclined to do good. So perhaps my strategy for the world will not work. But that does not mean that I should not do anything- after all, it has to start from somewhere…