For the majority of my life, I lived in Virginia Beach, Virginia. There was a lot of tourists, military, city life, etc. On weekends, when I was about 10-14 years old, my parents used to take me down to Gaston, North Carolina. This place, at my young age, was dreadfully boring. There was a Piggly Wiggly (grocery store) down the gravel road and a Dollar General. We would also go into town to go to Walmart. Ooh, fancy, yeah? Needless to say, there wasn’t too much going on down there.
On a few occasions, I remember my dad sitting outside with me to watch meteor showers. I had never seen them because of the light pollution in the city; this was all strange & new to me. I remember being wrapped up in a blanket just staring up at the stars; there were so many. My 12 year old self thought: “Shit, I’m small.” Then, I got back to the city, forgetting about the stars and remembering how my life is so hard because my room was messy, I had a twenty five page paper due the next day, & classmates are assholes. I was no longer small and my problems were no longer comparatively insignificant.
Out of sight out of mind, right? I think we, as humans, make that mistake quite often. Of course, we have bigger issues that are out of sight such as global warming, war, poverty, starvation, etc. We do not have those issues nor do we see them first-hand, so we tend to live as if they don’t exist. How awful is that? That we tend to live as if our problems are of the utmost importance, even though there are people who are plagued with worry every single day because they don’t know if they will survive.
Let’s make it even more relatable for you. That person you cut off because they were driving the speed limit (we all know you can go five miles over the limit) just found out that her mother passed away. You didn’t witness it though, so it didn’t happen. That woman with all that plastic surgery you just degraded? Her mother made her believe she wasn’t worth anything until she was skinny & beautiful. But, you didn’t witness that, so it didn’t happen. The barista that you complained to the manager about because he is extra slow? He can’t pay his rent this month and is facing eviction. Yet again, you didn’t witness it, so it didn’t happen.
Let’s stop being so horribly ignorant. Can we, please, start living life as if we know nothing? Reason being, we don’t know the problems people face. So everyone, live with kindness in your heart and stop feeling so self-important. Remember that the stars are there, we just can’t see them.