Every day, as new issues come to light in today’s world, I observe the different ways in which people around me react to them. Some movements spread like wildfire, and that’s great, but a huge number of others just remain stagnant. I guess some topics just don’t seem as interesting, because it’s so easy to shrug responsibility off onto the next person. We see Facebook posts and Instagram stories and get WhatsApp forwards about so many relevant things, but we rarely give them a second thought because there’s so much more we’d rather be reading.
We know the problems, we’re dealing with them in our own ways – or waiting for the government to do something – and that’s where our accountability ends. Maybe we didn’t burst crackers this year, or we quit smoking, or we switched to public transport to reduce pollution. Maybe we joined an NGO to work for the underprivileged, or donated money to a charity, or helped rescue strays in our area. Most of us do something for whatever it is we most believe in, and it’s the best first step in the right direction.
What I believe, however, is that we all need to go beyond that first step. Do whatever is in your capacity to do – that’s up to you. But beyond that, raise awareness. It’s your responsibility to try and spread that message to at least one other person.
The thing is, what seems small and insignificant to you can actually make a difference. That article someone sent you about the pollution levels in your city right now? Maybe the facts will make some realise that they want to change their ways. That video describing the correct, legal way of segregation you’re expected to follow? Someone you know might be unaware that they’re dealing with their garbage the wrong way, and you might educate them. The poster urging people not to burst fire-crackers, or the campaign about sharing the images of your eco-friendly celebrations? It may seem silly, but maybe when you send it to some distant relative they’ll appreciate why you did it, and do it themselves too. Every little bit we can do counts, because it’s only when we all spread the message to everyone we know that there’s a chance we’ll reach the masses, and we need everyone on board if we intend to fix the state our world is in.
So here’s a shoutout from me to all those I saw speaking up against pollution & crackers over the past week, and to all those who work towards something they believe in on a regular basis. Here’s an appeal to the rest of you – please spread the word. Whether it’s as simple as sharing a post, or adding one meaningful poster to the plethora of forwards on every family whatsapp group – do it. I hope you change at least one person’s mind.