“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.