7 Billion People in the world. About 7 billion.
Angels, because at the end of the day we are good people. Deep deep down inside, we are, I promise. We do good things. We often have good or sound intentions. We are kind. And considerate. We try to be patient. We are sensitive. We are sensitive to a fault sometimes. We let the old and pregnant people have our seat on the bus – in fact let’s make it a law, we said. We sympathize with others. We empathize – well, most of us do. We lend a helping hand, when we want to. We offer a shoulder when a crier comes to us.
But, the problem is that most times we are good because we want to be seen as good people. We are good because we care what others think/feel about us, so it’s really not about them. We are good in a weirdly paradoxical way that seems self-less but is ultimately self-centered. We are angels when we don’t have to go out of our way. We are angels when the law requires it and we’d rather not get in trouble. We are angels when being angelic comes with affirmation. But, we are gradually becoming more apathetic than angelic.
What happens when the people or situations that are in the direst of need angelic acts are not in direct view? What happens when we are separated by the cushion of high-rise buildings, or a few streets, a neighborhood, a country border, an ocean, and maybe even a continent? Are we still good? Are we still selfless, and sympathetic, and eager to help? Do we become apathetic? Do we become hoarders? Apathetic hoarders? Spoiled to the point where we have a different set of ultimately inconsequential problems? Third world problems, right?
How do you explain the drastic juxtaposition of a small group of “good” people who own a majority of the wealth and resources available to us as a race, and a larger group of people who own little to nothing, although they share a planet with the former group? That’s Africa. That’s the Americas. That’s Europe. That’s Earth for you.
Call it capitalism. Call it application of ingenuity. Call it greed. Call it human. Call it a gap, or a fence, or an imbalance. Call it unfair. Matter of fact, call it fair – all fingers were not created equal after all. A bit callous, maybe.
Doesn’t matter what you call it: the facts remain what they are. About 7 billion people sharing a planet, but not actually sharing a planet.
*Angles of Apathy is a phrase I borrowed from a song I heard on the radio. See lyrics here - http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/matthewwest/dosomething.html