WE CANNOT CHANGE THE WORLD UNTIL WE CHANGE OUR ATTITUDES.
The current state of the world is an exact reflection of how we think. What we believe leads us to create our reality. Simply put: the world is the way it is because that is the way we allow it to be. If we change the way we look at the world, it will change to fit our thinking. However, too many people are not even aware of their negative view points. Often they have been conditioned to believe certain things, and because they have been thinking that way for so long, it seems logical to them. Until they realize the destructive nature of their attitudes they will see nothing wrong with their opinions. They will go on believing that they are right and that things are simply the way they are and cannot be changed.
This type of irrational thinking helps to keep extreme poverty in place generation after generation. People in the West too often believe there is nothing that can be done about it. They believe the problem is too big, or they think it would cost too much to help. Unfortunately, these narrow-minded points of view are then instilled in their children, perpetuating another generation that thinks the same way.
All of these destructive attitudes produce a continuous stream of negative thought that allows 1,000,000 people to die each year from malaria. It helps to keep one billion people trapped in the futile effort to exist on one dollar a day. It makes us look the other way when we know that mothers in sub-Saharan Africa have a 1 in 16 lifetime chance of dying during pregnancy. It breeds the indifference that leads to the deaths of 18,000 children from hunger and related causes each day. But because we believe nothing can be done about it, and because we think that it is not our problem, we willingly stand by and let 6,570,000 children die from malnutrition and related causes every year.
We must dramatically change our attitudes so that we can begin to deal with the urgent life and death situations faced by millions. To do that we have to break down the intellectual and emotional barriers that have been erected throughout history. We have to accept the fact that we are all equal. Race, economic class, religion, territorial disputes and political beliefs cannot be allowed to divide us. All of us are alive together at the same time on this small planet, and we all have the same basic rights to food, water, shelter and medical care. For those of us who are blessed with plenty, it is incumbent upon us to share our good fortune with those who have nothing. To do any less is not only morally wrong it can literally cost lives. We cannot hide from this responsibility. We must make every attempt to halt the generational pattern of ignorance, apathy and prejudice which in turn will help to break the perpetual cycle of poverty that grips the lives of one out of every six people on earth.
If we change our perception of those who are suffering we will change how we react to them. If we begin to see them as mothers, fathers, sons and daughters with the same needs and desires that we have, we will feel compelled to intercede on their behalf. We can no longer afford the luxury of just viewing ourselves as regions, countries, tribes or clans. We have to realize that we are all human beings first, no matter what our nationality or ethnicity. We cannot delude ourselves into thinking that we are superior or more important than others who may seem different from us. We have to accept the reality of life on this planet. To pretend that there are not 15 million HIV/AIDS orphans in Africa does not magically make them go away. When we ignore the fact that 20% of the world’s population now controls 75% of the wealth it makes us far less inclined to help the other 80%. To look the other way when we know that extreme poverty kills one million human beings every 34 days is unforgivable.
If those of us in wealthy nations do not begin to help the tens of thousands who are dying every day, who will? We have the money, we have the resources, we have the medical capabilities, and we have the political clout. Therefore, we literally hold their lives in our hands. We have the responsibility of life and death whether we want it or not. But we will not be filled with love and compassion until we change our deeply held attitudes about poverty and the people who are trapped in its degradation and hopelessness. How we view the world makes all the difference. We must change our backward beliefs and misconceptions. We must see the world the way it really is so that we can accept the challenge of changing it, because the lives of millions of human beings hang in the balance.
OUR ATTITUDES HAVE THE POWER TO KILL.