How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.' - Anne Frank
The words of a girl, living through one of the most torturous vignettes in human history. And yet, as it always will in human existence, hope burns through. Through clouds of such anxiety and despondence- the like of which many of us today may never come to understand. It is hard not to see that time in this world's dance as one of the very few flashes of true 'good', against true 'evil.' What could make it so? I'm sure there are books and books and endless materials on that question. One of the things, undoubtedly, is intolerance. Another, ignorance. But the deep, dark ignorance. Not simple forgetfulness. And to combine that with intolerance (however it comes to be formed in the human mind), and the fear or the willingness to follow the orders of one in power? Dark times. Times in which it takes someone like young Anne to remind us of what we can truly be.
Something of that dangerous blend of ignorance and intolerance still exists today (and may forever). It manifests itself in discrimination. Against those whose voices (although now heard, more than ever) have rarely, or never, been taken seriously. If it did not still exist, acts of discrimination would not still occur. In whichever form they appear to us. Police brutality is a flaming example, right now. But it starts smaller than that. It starts in the way we consider someone, when we pass them. The little flag of doubt that raises in our mind when we see a particular person in a particular place, or doing a particular thing. I am unwilling to provide examples, for fear of even perpetuating harmful stereotypes and generalisations even more. Police brutality has been mentioned, but one only has to access one of their many screens (right now) to come into contact with that.
We know the discriminations I'm referring to. The prejudices. The generalisations. They exist in all our minds (however 'good' we consider ourselves), and I am not quite sure why. Maybe it is an evolutionary thing. A fear of 'something else.' Effective, perhaps, in a tribal landscape. But not today. And certainly not for an unfathomable amount of years.
What brings change? Movement. Getting up from the seat you're sitting in. You went from sitting, to standing. It sounds simple. It is. But apply it to the world. When we sit, we are idle. And (personally, at least), idleness can lead to a dangerous comfort. A comfort to remain in our ways. Ignoring the possibilities that await us. One of those possibilities (if we are still framing this individually) being to change our lives.
Go bigger, again. Apply it to the world. Every injustice. Every moment of inequality. It can all be changed, but only if we choose to move. Only if we choose to stand up.
Industry, is what is needed. Not the black-smoke, smear-on-the-planet industry. The industry of individuals. If we can change our lives, we can change the lives of others. And, as Anne alluded to, it starts with us. Those fleeting, but pivotal moments in our minds. We need to acknowledge them, and remove them. We need to remember that we aren't tribes, anymore. That we are more connected than we have ever been. That there is strength in numbers, but only if all within are pulling together.
It starts with purpose, for something else. For change. It starts with an industry of positive motivation, and thought. An industry of kindness. Of compassion. Of hope, for something new and fair. Of hope, which will always shine through- if we dare to part the clouds. B. C. Taylor