Merciless But Beautiful, Our World.

“The world is a cruel place,” once said Mikasa Ackerman, badass fighter from the mange/anime Attack on Titan. While her character is completely fictious, her simple quote rings with absolute truth. Uttered in a ragged whisper, a resilient tone, she struck a chord in me that resonated among my thoughts.

The world is a cruel place. Although Mikasa’s world is partly populated by human- eating giants called titans, we both say it for the same reason: from the beginning of our lives, the essence of our being is determined by a force we cannot control. The world gives poverty and bombs and disease to some, and provides others with hot, steaming food and a hot, steaming shower. Yes, we all have some amount of power to try and change the situation we are in, but part of your faith is marked in stone before you even take your first breath.

Every evening, my family and I watch the CBS Evening News. We gather around our kitchen table, pieces of meat and vegetables flowing rhythmically into our mouths, as a brave reporter on the grounds of a warzone talks amidst the crowds of people caught in a frenzy of terror. Then, images and clips of injured civilians shower the screen; little kids are wailing through the gauzes and bandages that cover their body, accompanied by the merciful screams of the war-beaten adults.

It is after, with a full belly, as I sit comfortably on the living room couch, do I realize the significant contrast of cruelty inflicted on different people. There I was, stuffing myself with platter after platter of delicious food, while listening to the sounds of raw suffering. While I was eating for pleasure more than for need, there were millions of others scrambling for even a tiny piece of bread. There are millions- no billions -of others scrambling for even a tiny piece of bread, as I sit snuggly on a chair, typing these words, under the healthy glow of an incandescent light.

Am I such good of a person that I just had to be given a comfortable, enjoyable lifestyle? No. Will I do something so amazing, so beneficial that it will justify the fact that I was born more fortunate than millions of other people? Never.

Somewhere else in the world, a girl just like me spends her days working in a clothing factory because she has to help support her family. This girl has just as much to offer to the world as me, but because of the conditions she was born in, she is not able to lead a prosperous life. She doesn’t get to enjoy the feeling of a warm bath, or the elation of passing a final exam. She will, no doubt, feel amounts of happiness and love in her time being (I sure hope so), but I am certain she will never be able to use the fullest potential she has in her.

And perhaps we all aren’t able to use the fullest potential in ourselves…We will certainly not get to experience every single pleasure in life. But it’s frustrating to think that some people have a better chance of doing so simply because they were born with more luck on their side. However, I’m sure those who were born “unlucky” don’t want my pity. They’re much strong than I will ever be. I am weak because I have never been through true suffering. They are strong because their souls have strengthened through the numerous beatings it has had to endure. It’s the hard price they pay to gain the untainted knowledge of our battered humanity.

Forged inequalities paint our world. It is a fact that stands firmly no matter how much you elaborate it with hope. Ultimately, no one deserves the life they have, but somehow we still push through the incredulous destinies that mark us, and we manage to live, and live, and live.

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4 thoughts on “Merciless But Beautiful, Our World.

  1. Leave it to you to make such of a wonderful and thought-provoking post, Grace. Like you, I have had moments where I would realize how unfair the world is, how the only reason I am able to lead a good, peaceful life is because I was lucky. The sad thing is that many, including me, will only realize this for a few moments and then move on and comment on the trivial things that bother us, forgetting that somewhere there is someone going through much more. Many will never really be able to really and *truly* understand what we had been born into.

    I know that it sounds really bad, and I wish it weren’t true, but it is, even though I do try to be different… Some people are born into a easy life, some are born into a fair life, and some are born into a hard life. The world isn’t fair. But like you said, all we can do is push forward and live… And I believe that all we can really try to do is bring some warmth into the world, contribute in some sort of way to make it even just a little bit better, even if it only affects the people around you. I’m not sure if I put my thoughts down well, and I probably sound like a very spoiled person, but yeah…

    Probably meaningless ramble time: Oh, and I do love how you quote Mikasa Ackerman. I truly do love her character–I immediately felt connected to her. She very much reminds me of another character from a different manga, though they are both very different and their words are mostly different, except for when they describe the world.

    “I despise common sense. I’ve seen the world from every possible angle. This cruel, ridiculous, beautiful world.”

    The character who said that was fated to live a short life with a terrible end and she knew that her whole life. Unlike Mikasa, she is a morally grey character, but the way that she views the world and lives has always struck me as dazzling. She sort of just let the world take her. And in her final days, she said to her brother that even though she has seen all kinds of cruelty and despicable things, she saw miracles everywhere and that she loved the world.

    — Lesley, the girl who has written a terribly long comment (I’m so sorry) that is half ramble that doesn’t end up anywhere. And also the girl who thinks you write gorgeously <3

    1. Thank you so so much for your comment Lesley, it’s great to see that my post has been thought-provoking, haha! Honestly this is one of the hardest post I’ve written, it’s very easy to sound spoiled and ungrateful when writing something of this theme, so I really tried to keep a neutral style (I hope I partially succeeded, ehe).

      I think your comment is absolutely fantastic, really captures the essence of what I was trying to express, while also adding a “Lesley” touch to it! And glad to hear from another Attack on Titan fan!

      Thanks again for everything,

      -Grace :)

  2. What a wonderful post, Grace! It’s really interesting to think about how privilege and how no matter what the scenario, there is always someone who has it “worse.” When I talk to my friends about it, we often reach an agreement that it’s good to acknowledge how other people live in worse conditions, but we should also strive to take action instead of pity them. Not everyone is going to become an activist or donate millions of dollars to war efforts or charities, but everyone is capable of doing something – whether it’s spreading awareness by going door to door, giving just a bit of money, or writing a blog post – and doing something, even if it’s just a little something, is better than nothing.

    Once again, fantastic post filled with fabulous writing. You really hit on how crushing it can be to think about how some people live in the most horrible of conditions – but, in the end, we have to believe humanity will win out. Or we should gear our actions to make that belief possible.

    1. Thank you so much Thomas, you always have the best comments! “… but, in the end, we have to believe humanity will win out.” – and you are so right, we have no choice but to put our full confidence in humanity.

      I was reading my post when it was in the draft stage and I realized how pitiful I sounded from all my pitying. It’s funny how throughout the process of writing this post, my point of view of this world changed and developed for the better.

      Thanks again for such a thoughtful comment, you’re the best!

      -Grace :)

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