On some level, everyone has that small inkling of desire for their chance in the spotlight–the glorious realm within which we are handed the chance to be heard, to be seen, to be known.
There is more to this realm, however, than we initially care to admit.
The truth is that the grandeur and power that is granted to us during this time is transient, as fleeting as the few brief moments we are able to catch a rush of water with our bare hands. Once the water has escaped from our grasp, the droplets of moisture evaporate from our palms, and our hands are left dry and longing to be refreshed. So goes the 15 minutes we will spend in Fame, and the mercilessness of our departure.
The truth is that no one can speak better of the unkindness of that end than the people of a small handful of countries who have suffered cruelty and neglect by government or oppressive factions. These men, women and children can recount vividly the few months within which the world shone a spotlight on their misery, as well as the sorrowful awareness of the passing of that once-promising light.
The truth is that those few months were only a result of the human tendency to go where our eyes are directed–like the movie star who stands up and speaks two words: “Save Darfur,” the celebrity cyclist who tells us to Livestrong, and the protestor who turns the public eye from the competition of the Olympics to the struggle in Tibet. In all fairness, these examples are of good nature, and our inclination to follow can serve us well. But our flaw lies in the fact that we follow like children at a carnival: running towards the Ferris wheel when we are suddenly distracted by the cotton candy stand.
The truth is that much of the public has only limited consciousness of the problem because the issue is dangled in front of us all like a sparkly new item of jewelry–a strategy that is all well and good because it gets attention, but is deceptively inadequate since the attention and concern is only momentary, quickly lost to the next highest bidder.
The truth is that “caring” has become a fashion, which is both good and bad. The good lies in the fact that we are directed to pay more attention to important issues, but the bad is that many people follow half-heartedly, with real interest only in keeping up with the crowd instead of giving a helping hand to the people who have fallen victim to horrendous plights.
We have gotten much of society so far to give a portion of their focus to the sufferings around the world, which in itself is a magnificent achievement. But we should take on our next challenge with even more enthusiasm, since it will be even harder: to ensure that caring is no longer a fashion, but a necessity.
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