Fine for Me

"If things are okay for you, you shouldn't be worried about bad things happening to other people!"

I'm really sick and tired of hearing that, you know? Well, no, you don't know because you're not me and you probably didn't want to know in any case - but I'll tell you anyway, because I'm a boring, self-important git!

Now, if I'm such a boring git, you might reason that the only reasons I care about bad things happening to other people are because I'm bored and enjoy meddling in other people's business, a glorified gossip masquerading as some kind of saviour of humanity. For a start, I'm no saviour of humanity. I'm not the enlightened shepherd leading the sheep to freedom. I know perfectly well that I am not powerful and influential enough to do that, and besides, I would rather help people to break their own chains than treat them as incapable of doing so and "break their chains" (for which read: be a privileged "saviour") for them. I don't take pleasure in talking about other people's business to sate my boredom, and if people don't want me in their business I'll honour that. If I see that something, somewhere is going wrong and I want to help, it's not because my life's uninteresting without having something to gossip about, it's much of a bastard as I am, I've still got some sort of conscience, something that won't allow me to ignore a situation that isn't okay. And no, I can't turn it off.

I certainly can't turn it off just because it's not happening to me. If I'm fine and others are not, it's wrong for me to sit there and whistle a jaunty tune while others starve, simply because I got lucky and was born into a family where we can afford plenty of food. It's not wrong because I could be there but for fortune; it's not wrong because they're "my neighbours in the global village" (ugh, I hate that phrase). The reason it's wrong has nothing to do with me and everything to do with us - us all fundamentally being people who deserve the same rights and opportunities in life.