I truly despise apathy. Seeing it play out in front of me grinds my gears.
I hate seeing something terrible happening to someone in public, and everyone doing their damnedest to steer clear of it. A homeless guy being harassed by teens. A young Sikh couple being berated for being ISIS terrorists. Parents going apeshit on their kids for simple mistakes.
Much to my friends’ dismay, I’m the guy that’s going to say something. Which shocks some people bc I am generally hands-off about the business of others. Not my problem. However, when someone is being intimidated, harassed or threatened, I can’t jump in fast enough. Someone needs to say something, and yet everyone is pleading the fifth.
I was bullied as a kid. A lot. I’ve been publicly and privately disrespected for being Black/Japanese/adopted/skinny/Buddhist/etc. And often times, no matter how innocent I was, no one in a crowd of people would do anything more than sheepishly go about their day. I know what it feels like. I cannot stomach the thought of others going through that alone.
Yes, it’s gotten me in trouble a few times. Yes, I’ve found myself biting off more than I can chew at someone else’s expense. Yes, sometimes it escalates. However, most of the time, simply speaking up publicly in someone else’s defense is enough to bring a little civility to the world.
And it would be so much easier to bring that civility if more people would also speak up.
It’s shameful that it requires a healthy amount of courage and determination to simply be a decent human being these days. It requires almost no effort to be a selfish asshole.
Racism, homophobia, Islamaphobia, sexism, all that bullshit would be marginalized, if everyone simply spoke up and called the bullshit when they see it. Especially within our own communities. Men need to check their bros when it comes to sexual harassment and violence. Christians need to be the first ones to show some tolerance towards Muslims. Blacks shouldn’t be the only ones decrying racism.
Be a decent human being. Stop evil on your own level, so we can all collectively erode it on the larger scale. Do not return hate for hate. Remember, you are a good person and decent human being. Don’t let anger and frustration change that. Be who you should be, because that’s who you really are.