Staff editorial: The cycle of suffering

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to cause many ripples.”

                                         – Mother Teresa

The University released the news in the week of March 9: at least 150 Christian missionaries in Syria were abducted by the extremist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). Just a few weeks ago, the U.S. was mourning the murder of three muslim students. In the month before that, #blacklivesmatter was trending as a result of racial oppression. The world is constantly regurgitating the same message of hate, over and over.

Tragedy, tears and terror are the norm.

Yet, despite this cycle of suffering, people continue to reach into themselves and pull out something that almost seems extinct: they pull out love.

The love is placed gently in their hands, and is blown across the world through small acts. It’s seen when I pick up trash in the street. Love is present when she listens to elders reminisce about the happiest times of their lives. It’s spread when he gently combs through his sister’s tangled hair. The love is even there when they leave a thoughtful comment on an old friend’s Facebook post. All of these acts go out in the world and make a small, but meaningful, impact. They cause ripples.

The world is in constant creation, shaped by our unsteady and delicate hands. It’s mold is pulled this way and that, but, ultimately, the mold is ours to tend to. There are so many resources available to make it a place to be proud of–all that one needs to do is look.

The St. Kate’s campus has a multitude of social justice related clubs, ranging from animal justice to caring for people with intellectual disabilities. A list of them is compiled here, and contact information can be provided by the Student Center and Activities (SCA) office, next to the Info Desk. Other resources that are not listed include Campus Ministry, Student Senate and SKAT (St. Kate’s Activities Team), all of which include a social justice sub-group.

Each of these organizations would love to gain a new member or hear student input. All of them operate under student initiated ideas, and would be more than willing to help create an event or have a discussion surrounding issues that are pertinent to students.

Online games are another resource for positive change. The most commonly known game is found at freerice.com. This site tests users knowledge, and donates ten grains of rice for every correct answer. Owned by the United Nations World Food Programme, the goal is to provide education as well as work to eliminate world hunger.

This is not the only game available. Gamesforchange.org has a multitude of online games for players seven and up. The site works to create “social impact games that serve as critical tools for humanitarian and educational efforts,” according to the website.

Aside from these active options, showing love can be as simple as listening to music. Playing for Change is a movement designed to connect the world by breaking down boundaries through music. A team travels the world recording street artists, and then puts the music up on their website. The musicians cover songs proclaiming love and togetherness, such as “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King and “Imagine” by John Lennon.

Changing the world isn’t a grandiose action. It is the culmination of a million little actions, leading to changed hearts and changed minds. It begins with a simple act of love.

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