It is an unfortunate fact that inhumanity plagues every nation in the world, and that unspeakable crimes are committed on a daily basis. Some of these crimes can seem so great and so far away, that it can be easy for an individual to see something terrible in the world and assume that since it is not near them, it does not affect them. Unfortunately, this is far from true. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” a statement that has been born out as true time and again throughout history. But history has also proven another fact–that one individual with rational ideas can effectively change the course of inhumane actions.
How Rational Ideas Can Bring About Change
Even when one considers smaller actions of injustice, like a single criminal, let alone the larger actions of injustice, like religious wars that take the lives of many innocent individuals, including children, it can seem quite overwhelming to consider what one individual could possibly do in order to help change these terrible conditions. After all, it may seem that the only way to bring about justice is to fight fire with fire–destroying those individuals who would calmly and openly destroy others. However the truth is that the same power that spreads the feelings of injustice and anger among billions of individuals across the world can also spread something much better: hope.
When an individual recognizes an inhumane action, no matter where it is committed or who it is committed against, they often experience anger, if not many other strong emotions as well. This alone proves that they are more deeply connected with and interested in their fellow man than one may think possible based on distance between them. It is this connection, however, to our fellows, that makes us human, and drives us to support and fight for one another. The powerful emotions felt when an individual encounters injustice can actually serve them well–if they focus them toward rational thought. Simply becoming angry is not enough, as it means that the inhumane actions they witnessed did little more than adversely affect them. However, just as ripples from a single stone can stretch out across an entire pond, a single rational idea that is spread to others has the power to affect a wonderful change.
Today, there is a great potential for a single individual or group to reach many, many, many others through email and social media, if it is used correctly and well. In many cases, social media can simply be a venue for people to vent, and it’s true that an individual can simply rave angrily about the inhumane situations they see occurring around them and draw others into the debate, but this is unlikely to cause truly desirable changes. Unorganized riots are proof of this–while it is a large group of people it is unruly and disorganized, likely to cause more trouble than effect desirable changes. On the other hand, even small groups can effect great changes when they are organized and rational, and it begins with a single idea.
One would do better to voice their concern about the situations that are occurring and call others to action in standing united against these inhumane situations. One may still ask the question of what good will this do, especially when many of these individuals remain a world away from the crimes that are being committed against their fellow man. And it’s true, rational ideas alone may not be enough to change the inhumane actions of the irrational, but it is also true that large groups of individuals who are united together for change can move mountains.