A Spark for Change: You Matter

By: Erin Parker Last Updated: December 2, 2013

sparkforchange rotator5I went on Saturday night to see 12 Years a Slave with my friend. We had been talking about seeing this movie for months, and it did not disappoint; however, neither of us was prepared for the way this movie would hit us. The sheer brutality and hatred shown left us in tears and unable to speak about the movie until the next day, which is a feat in itself for us. Our conversation the next day about the movie left me wanting to write to you all today about seeing the value in other people and helping when able.

I feel the world is in dire need for kindness and compassion. So often, we all walk around carrying an invisible mirror, allowing us to only see or feel that which is happening to us. We want people to love and care about us. We want people to treat us with compassion and kindness. We want people to see the injustices that happen to us and be outraged, but when the tables are turned, too many of us fail to return the favor. When it is someone else, it is their problem. Until this changes, we all will suffer.

My dream is for us all to feel more. I dream for people to look at each other and see more than what lies at face value. Each person, in my opinion, is irreplaceably special. Each person holds a value that is inimitable. We, as a society, must stop sitting around while other people are being treated less than. When someone makes a remark demeaning someone else, it is imperative to stand up against it. Debasing race, religion, orientation, or gender is never ok or funny. Taking away the value of who someone is on his/her most basic level strips them of self worth, and that is a true crime.

Behind each person lies stories, triumphs, pain, and moments that we know nothing about. We are all too busy to stop and learn about the people we meet, but even if we can’t get to know them, we can give them the kindness, compassion, and respect they deserve. We can choose to see the value in each person, no matter who they are, and we can choose to stand up when others are refusing to do that very thing. Kindness and compassion are truly the only two things that will change the world. We all can do our part to get the ball rolling and keep it moving.

Go be great,

EP