I don’t think I’ll ever become as important as Gandhi.
I mean, never say never, right? But being realistic, I think that my altruistic ambitions might have been left too late in life to reach the scope that his heart, his soul, intelligence, compassion and wisdom did. I am not interested in fame or fortune or any of that malarkey, but I have always wanted to help. It’s probably not as benevolent as it sounds and rests in the fact that there is very little in this world that feels as good as genuinely connecting with another human being. It fills your life, makes sense of everything and reduces us to the core of our being. It is like sitting at the hem of the ocean; like tasting the night sky. You are reduced to beautiful insignificance and all makes sense. It’s a matter of scale; knowing your place in the universe and realising that the universe is tiny compared to the scope, the compassion of humans.
I don’t think that there is anything on this grand, green earth more worthwhile than helping others. I don’t mean to say that I am above anyone or that anyone is below me. I have very little, but the very little I have makes me incredibly privileged indeed. I live in a country of good fortune. I have a roof over my head. My family eat regularly. When it turn a tap, water comes out. When I flick a switch, lights come on. My children sleep warm. When I reach out my arm at night there is a body I love sleeping soundly next to me. There is nothing else I need.
Benevolence, the act of helping others is one of the few actions which can truly sum up the worth of a person. I mean, what else is there to do with your life, what ultimate purpose is there beyond aiding those around us?
I know, I know, it can be quite sickening hearing someone wank on about this kind of thing. It has such a bad, quasi-christian, wet, plum eating connotation to it, doesn’t it? It all seems a bit, for loss of a better word, ‘soft’, you know what I mean? I get it. But it’s not. To me it’s as hardcore as it gets.
Gandhi? Gandhi was fucking mental! He inspired an entire country, an entire world to look toward higher aspiration, all whilst wearing only a bed sheet. If that’s not hardcore I don’t know what is. Could anyone ever accuse Malala Yousafzai of being anything less than a human of extreme conviction? If she fronted a punk band, I’d go see them play. She makes Henry Rollins look like a prissy schoolboy.
Before I go reeling off fifty other examples and boring everyone shitless, what i’m saying is that it takes so much more to commit to good than it does otherwise. It’s easy to walk the path of least resistance. Easy to do nothing. It is our natural setting. A car doesn’t want to move of its own volition, you’ve got to apply pressure; you’ve got to put your fucking foot down. It takes a harder soul, a keener mind, a bloodier heart to really give. Caring is not enough. Caring is a passive activity. It is armchair charity. To DO is what matters.
To make trouble. To stir the pot. To poke the hive.
Sitting and lamenting the state of the world or the circumstances of others seems somewhat insulting to me. It benefits no one but our own sense of outrage, as if acknowledging a problem pardons us from acting upon it, makes us something special just by recognising that something is unacceptable.
Action. That’s the only thing that affects change of any kind.
Anything else is of no use. An affectation.
I want to ask the right questions of the right people; how can I help? How can I give the most effective assistance?
In the meantime we do what we can.
I’ll never be Gandhi. He was special. Beyond special. He was a rare soul. A comet passing through.
But just because we’re not all comets, doesn’t mean we don’t still want to fly.
I want to help.
I hope you do too.