07 September 2013

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

Photo by Joe Nigel Coleman

The world is burning as we sleep, quakes with gunfire and grenades as we sip our tea. Cobwebs like gossamer garlands dangle from the points of the porch roof and drape down into the hedged and hemmed shrubbery, suburbia’s coat of arms. Feet peppered with the earth, I put Stan Getz on the stereo. Good music makes me feel as my soul has flown straight out of my skeleton, vamoose like a cut balloon, floating on the sensuous notes of euphoria.
  Photo by Joe Nigel Coleman

In some lands, air raids and bombs sing children to sleep, here, it is the chirping lullabies of crickets and cicadas, half moons of tar black soil under my fingernails from planting, instead of the scarlet curls of blood on corpses. How can we live on this earth and not care for our fellow human beings?
  Photo by Joe Nigel Coleman

They tell me to care less, it’s okay, just be kind to the people you meet and don’t fret about the screams of people dying over distant seas. I feel slighted. I feel my shoulders slump. They don’t get it, do they? Doesn’t anybody understand? I ramble around these neighborhoods, sidewalks jutting into the impossible green of lawns, the stripes of faded American flags bending to kiss the stars, and I see power. Even where the walkways are rough hewn, and rusting junk suffocates every living thing beneath it, I see possibility.
  Photo by Joe Nigel Coleman

We’ve made a grave mistake. Somewhere along the way, there’s been a tremendous miscalculation. We’ve added it up that the engraved paper that lines our banks is greater than human lives, and we’ve been taken for fools, falling for the charade that we are helpless, possums playing dead when we see the bloated bellies of malnourishment, the muddy tears of a refugee. But we are not dead, nor are we helpless.
  Photo by Joe Nigel Coleman

We shuffle from buses and cars, to classrooms and cubicles, from bright florescent lights to night clubs. Public spaces are filled with the emptiness of people who cannot lift their eyes from the screen that connects them to everything but the people in front of them. We are powerful beings, yet we believe the lies they tell us, that we should just be cogs in this machine that lumbers on with no regard for humanity, that we should close our eyes and turn around, like a child chosen to be “it” in a game of hide and seek.
  Photo by Joe Nigel Coleman

We’ve hung hopes on governments, but they’d rather fund wars than feed the hungry, invest in the of festering of wounds than be a healing salve to the hurting. The cost shelled out for arms and killing alone could obliterate poverty around the world, instead it deepens a mass grave for the ones it is burying alive; the chasm between the rich and the poor ripping apart what should be a woven tapestry of hands united. Our lives are privileged because others have been pushed into the jaws of a beast, their lives and well being the offering on the altar so our comfortable lives can get a little more comfortable.
  Photo by Joe Nigel Coleman

The government isn’t the solution, we are. We’ve got to lace up our boots and get down in the trenches of the greater good, we’ve got to be willing to get dirty and sacrifice. This is no day and time to be sleeping, not with the world burning and the ashes of woman, child, and man, a black rain on cities blown into oblivion, erasing faces and leaving only names soon to be forgotten or never remembered.
  Photo by Joe Nigel Coleman

I am wide awake. I hear them calling, and they’re calling me, they’re calling anyone who will listen, they’re calling any willing soul, to do something, and I am not afraid. I am not afraid to walk in the shoes of the suffering, not afraid to suffer. I only fear a life that is lukewarm, a life that is nice, if not indifferent, and nothing more.
  Photo by Joe Nigel Coleman

I seek a life ignited, to shed this selfish skin and say to the world in need, “Here I am. I am willing.”
  Photo by Joe Nigel Coleman

P.S. I have entered a contest that will allow me to travel the world and give back more than ever. Will you please take a moment and vote for me, by clicking the "like" next to my name, if you think I’m deserving? You can vote once every 24 hours, and voting ends October 1st. I appreciate each and every vote, thank you so much to those who have taken a moment to do so! 

Photos by Joe Nigel Coleman. You can also find him on Flickr and Facebook

5 comments:

Yi Lin T said...

Reading your words always ignite something within me as well. Sometimes I get caught up in my own daily life and it is through your writing that I have so often rediscovered the deep, kind inside of my heart and it makes me want to be a better person than I (sometimes feel I already) am.

I've probably said this before and you've probably heard it before, even if not from me, but thank you, Susanna. Thank you for being a light who inspires so many others to be warmer, kinder beings. May your own life be filled with lots of love and joy.

YalĂ­ Noriega said...

Your writing is so powerful and moving. It brought tears to my eyes but also hope that there are people willing to actually do something about the world around them. Thank you for the inspiration.

Amber Locke said...

I am enthralled. This was beautifully written. Your words are my thoughts and my dreams and I am so happy to have found someone as inspired as I am about having compassion for one another only negated by violence and treachery. The world is better than war. We live in a day and age where compromise and understanding should be taught by it's leaders. I am with you. I am not afraid.

Brie said...

Wow. I'm speechless. You are such an inspiring author! I've been thinking a lot about this topic lately. I agree, we shouldn't be afraid to get a little dirty and to sacrifice. Radical love reaches through all our fears and the world's discouragement. Well said! I wrote a similar blog post not long ago on fantasiesandrealitychecks.blogspot.com. Thank you so much for the great read :)

moazzam said...

Very Nice blog and post i really appreciate you keep it up some importance links are given belwo it ma help you.

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