Nobody Cares, Mate’
What’s the worst thing that happened to you today? Did you overdraw your checking account? Miss out on a primo parking space? Did your football team lose today?
I was scrolling through Facebook the other day when I came across a post called “Nobody cares, Mate”. Nobody cares about what, I wondered, as I clicked on the article to keep reading. It turns out a young soldier was having a terrible time adapting to civilian life after his military career ended with a roadside bomb. He was suffering from a brain injury, as well as PTSD and was really struggling to make sense of the things that bothered the people he interacted with back home.
How could the biggest issue of the day be the heavy traffic on the freeway when he had seen the things he had seen? How could people be so upset about the outcome of a football game when he had witnessed children dying and families starving and his own unit being attacked? What was wrong with people, he wondered?
His Dad summed it up in just a few words. People don’t care because their whole world is right here. The traffic, the parking space, the football game, the price of gas…. That’s what they know and that’s all they care about. Deploying to war, coming back from war – no one really gives a damn.
I thought about that for a minute. How horrible for that young man to have to carry those atrocious memories alone with no support. How sad that because people were not directly involved with his experiences, they felt no need to lend a hand, to try to make things better for him, to see what he needed….
But how is this any different from the teenager who kills himself because his young life has no meaning, no purpose? Who was there for him? Or the teen in high school who is bullied and drops out because the cool kids don’t like her clothes? Who is there to lend her a hand, to try to make things better or to see what she needs? And the abused mother who has nowhere to live so she sleeps in her beat up old car with her young children… Who will make things better for her?
The world is full of neediness. Chock full to the brim. And nobody cares, mate.
Or do we? Our worlds are expanding, thanks in part to social media and technology. Our “circles” are no longer defined by a small geographical area, even if we physically never leave our home town. Suddenly, videos and images of suffering from across the world are showing up on our news feeds and our cell phones. Thank goodness! NOW we know what that soldier was looking at. Now we know where the homeless live and what Robin Williams looked like just before he took his own life (which was pretty normal, by the way).
We see the effects that drugs are having on upper class America as well as the heroin overdoses of the poor (or is it the other way around?) We see what happens when people drive drunk or when food is genetically engineered. And more importantly, we see what needs to be done. We see who needs a helping hand, who needs us to make things better and what is needed to change the destiny of our planet.
The world needs changemakers and we need them NOW. Fortunately, the word is getting out. A group of kids collected coats, hats and mittens for the needy in their community. A car dealership donates to an animal shelter with every car sold. A Church Youth Group cleans up a poor neighborhood and gives new life to the community. A corporation collects baby supplies and clothes to give to a homeless shelter.
Every single idea that one person has can be executed hundreds or even thousands of times in communities across the country and the world. We just need a better way to communicate and share these ideas. Consider joining our Community Campaign to get the ball rolling in your area. We are looking for teenagers and young adults who care, mate!