The Bigger Problem

Glossophobia. Do you know what that means? I didn’t. In my first year at university, I stood in front of my entire class and instead of flawlessly explaining the cultural differences, I froze. Two weeks later I wrote a very long paper on that word. Glossophobia – The fear of public speaking.

We humans do this very often. We tend to not notice something until we have the need to do so. There aren’t a lot of things on this planet we learn about willingly.

Unfortunately, the people that aren’t a part of our lives fall under that category.

If you had looked at my History book at the end of an academic year, it would have looked brand new. I hated history. I was very clear – Somebody killed somebody. They’re both dead and I couldn’t care less.

And I know there are a lot of people that agree with me about that but even they cannot deny the fact that though History may be insignificant, the future will always matter. And I don’t want to wait until I am left with no choice again. Because Glossophobia – it is the smallest of our problems. There are bigger problems with fewer support groups that nobody talks about. But I want to talk about it.

Because the fact that my mother wakes up every morning and knows I’m going to be fast asleep and not dead is actually a privilige – That is a problem.

I’ve tried to put this thought into words for a very long time now and luckily someone else did it for me. Because this – this moment when we realize that someone out there could be smarter, better and absolutely amazing at doing exactly what we do but with no means to show it – this is the truth.

“I have never understood why some people are lucky enough to be born with the chance that I had—with this path in life. And why across the world, there’s a woman just like me with the same abilities and the same desires, the same work ethic and love for her family who would most likely make better films and better speeches. Only she sits in a refuge camp, and she has no voice. She worries about what her children will eat, how to keep them safe, and if they’ll ever return home. I don’t know why this is my life and that’s hers…” – Angelina Jolie, Governers Awards Speech

And I have wondered for a long time how it is fair that I get to wake up in the morning and her innocent, darling child didn’t. And the truth is, it’s not and I would love to be the individual that changes that, that changes the world and brings about world peace but I can’t. I can’t do this alone.

I can’t stop poverty alone. I can’t stop wars alone. I can’t save those kids with amazing talent – the ones being shot in war zones, the ones dying of hunger, the ones struggling to jump from one refuge camp to another and the ones that might not wake up tomorrow – and help better their lives.

“She speaks more languages than anyone in the family. Because she plays with all the children in the street.”

This was a quote describing a little kid on Humans of New York. It makes me feel sick that a child has the ability to see something so simple that we as adults have failed to understand. That she has the ability to look at a child and see just that. She doesn’t see where they come from or who their parents are. And if only we could do that.

Do you know about the photographer, Kevin Carter? He killed himself after shooting a picture of a kid in starvation. I can’t count the number of times I’ve looked at my mother and said “I’m going to die of hunger. Feed me now !”

I wanted to put up that picture on this blog but I just can’t bring myself to. I can’t look at it. It may have been taken a long time ago but I assure you, there is still a kid somewhere in this world that looks like that and is going through that. And yes, there are people rallying about it and screaming about it but nobody with a life takes the time to listen and that is a problem.


Is it fair that we get to whine about not having pizza for dinner? Is it fair that I get pissed with the Universe for not letting me travel the world when some kid out there can’t even travel home? Is it fair that this life that I don’t do much with, some kid would have used to the best of his ability and maybe even cured Cancer with but he’s sitting in a little room made of plastic scraps and wondering where his next meal’s going to come from while struggling to ignore the mental images of his dead parents?

And should we really wait until we are left with no choice but to listen?

29 thoughts on “The Bigger Problem

    • LoudThoughtsVoicedOut says:

      I remember hearing the story of Kevin Carter for the very first time. It was the first time I ever realized that life isn’t the same for everyone in this world. Very true. Even the smallest action can have a positive impact on someone’s life.
      Thank you for reading 🙂

  1. nekaaar says:

    This is most definitely thought provoking. Nicely done.
    Also, I nominated you for a blogger award… seeing as you’re not a newbie to such, you’ll pretty much already know the drill. Still, to participate(not by compulsion), check out the current post on my blog for details…

  2. Stephanae V. McCoy says:

    I visited your blog yesterday and was so touched by this post I couldn’t comment at the time. After thinking about it I recalled a story I heard years ago and I wanted to share it with you. I remember the picture of the starving little girl and it makes me sob each time I look at it. Life isn’t fair and there aren’t any easy answers for why there is suffering and pain in the world but I do know that doing something is so much better than doing nothing at all. Here is the story it’s kinda unclear as to the original source:

    A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.

    She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”

    The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one!”

    The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.

    — Adapted from The Star Thrower
    by Loren C. Eiseley

      • Stephanae V. McCoy says:

        You are very welcome. The first time I heard it a few years ago it gave me chills. Just think if everyone on the planet would take this approach? We would in effect solve most of the world’s problems because we would be more concerned about the welfare of others. Your blog is awesome by the way =D

  3. vivonajourney says:

    I really like that young people are starting to take note of things like this, that we are starting to looking away from ourselves and towards others, though I feel that this generation of youth have almost been indoctrinated into selfishness, what with the boom of social media and the age of the selfie.

    The more we look, the worse we are likely to feel about our privileged lives and this guilt is a good guilt, because it (hopefully) brings people to action- even if it is something small, we can do something every day to benefit someone else simply because they need it.

  4. asistentevirtualplus says:

    you are so talented! I saw that you are very young and you’re trying to be respected beyond your race and religion. Your encouragement will be an inspiration for young people. Excuse me for my english (I’m from Buenos Aires, Argentina, I hope you understand why I try to say.Thanks for write about it!!

  5. marymanzella says:

    I too have Glossophobia! I hate being in front of people, talking? Ha, I can’t even say hi to people on the streets while I’m riding my bike!
    In fact my father asked my what is my biggest fear, and I answered, “Other people!”
    (Turn story).
    Thank God I’m homeschooled!

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