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Social Issues: How Do We Cure Social Ills? H.O.W.

Updated on July 22, 2014

The Harsh Reality

I don’t know what to do! There, I have said it; I do not feel better saying it, but at least I gave my demon a face, and that is the first step.

I have been so encouraged by the heartfelt comments I have received on recent articles about poverty and child trafficking, but I would expect nothing less from my friends and peers. Still, the problems exist, and I do not know what to do.

I have written about the 49.7 million Americans living in poverty, and I have tried to raise awareness, but still, I do not know what to do.

I have written about child neglect and abuse on Native American reservations, and I have tried to raise awareness, but still, I do not know what to do.

I have written about child trafficking and the plight of the veterans in this country, and I have tried to raise awareness, but still, I do not know what to do.

I have written about narcissism and greed in this country, and I have tried to raise awareness, but still, I do not know what to do.

You see, all I am doing is putting a bandage on cancer. I preach to the choir, and I howl at the moon, and for one brief moment I feel good about the efforts, but then reality hits and I do not know what to do.

Join me?
Join me? | Source
My teachers
My teachers | Source

My Guiding Light

I was raised to believe that one man can make a difference, that the great movements in history began with one idea and one wayward pilgrim willing to advance that idea, until it became a cohesive movement of change.

I know it is possible; I have seen examples of it throughout my lifetime. I have seen brave men and women rise up against injustice and refuse to back down despite the odds. Our history books are filled with examples, and I know them to be true, and I am encouraged by them and temporarily motivated by them.

I was also raised to stand up for others who cannot stand on their own. I was raised to do everything in my power to protect the weak and right injustices, and to be a guiding light for those lost in darkness.

I have tried, but it is not enough, and I do not know what to do.

Tell Me, My Friends, What Should I Do?

I can give food to the poor until Hell freezes over, and it will not stamp out poverty, for I am just one man. I can stand atop my soapbox and decry abuse, but it will not stop atrocities towards children, for I am just one man. I can speak against selfishness and greed, and sing songs of brotherly love, but it will not stop the division of the classes or bring about global peace, for I am just one man.

I need to know what to do, because quite frankly I am growing weary of the fight. I am growing weary of chronicling man’s inhumanity towards man, and I am growing weary of my inability to change anything on a large scale.

I feel too strongly and that is my personal cross of empathy. I cry when I read about little children who are defenseless. I cry when I read about wounded soldiers who cannot find adequate care. I cry when I hear about abusive men and sex perverts, and politicians bought and paid for, and I am tired of hurting inside.

So what do I do?

The Insidiousness of Our Society

Four times I have written about child abuse, and four times I have had the advertising pulled on those articles because advertisers do not want their products associated with issues that are so depressing. Mind you, I care not about the advertising. What I do care about is the underlying message from the advertisers, namely that we are all about selling products, and ugly reality obstructs us from our goal.

I simply do not understand that kind of thinking, and I have degrees in Marketing and Economics. This seems to me to be the perfect metaphor for all that is wrong in our society today. Greed and narcissism rule our world today; if that seems a bit simplistic then you are not paying attention. How can there be such disparity in incomes if it is not greed fueling the economic world? How can people be exploited for the gains of others if it is not greed at the helm?

How can people turn a blind eye when they see injustice? How can we have an epidemic of “see no evil, hear no evil,” in a nation built upon the principles of freedom for all, and life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all? How can we spend more money on weapons than we do on food for the hungry? How can we spend more money on downtown improvements than we do on education or the prevention of child abuse?

How can 250 million citizens ignore the plight of 50 million citizens who cannot provide for themselves?

How can 312 million citizens ignore the plight of 250,000 children being sold as slaves?

How can 287 million citizens salute our 25 million veterans and yet ignore their needs?

How can the needs of foreign countries be more important than the needs of our own country?

How can a politician be paid for inefficiency and a laborer be fired when budget cuts occur?

How can the neighborhoods of the poor be bulldozed to make room for the skyscrapers of the rich?

So what should I do?

Will you join me? Can you write one article on this subject?

See results

A New Reality

I can tell you what I want to happen, but I can’t do it alone. I can write articles, and they are read by a few hundred, but unfortunately those few hundred are not the ones I need to change. Isn’t that the way it always is? You preach to the choir, and they nod their heads, and pat you on the back, but nothing changes, because the choir didn’t need changing.

Yes, I can write articles, but I can’t do this alone. How do I reach more than a couple hundred people? What would happen if the couple hundred that read my article then, in turn, wrote a similar article, and by doing so reached ten or twenty thousand people. Now we would have some momentum, but what next?

What if we sent our articles to our local newspapers? What if we began a movement of good, a movement of compassion, a movement of empathy, and we asked people to join us?

Would you be willing to join me in this movement? Would you be willing to write an article about our movement and try to reach as many people as possible with your article? Put aside your daily obligations just long enough to write that article….would you be willing?

I don’t know what good it will do, but it has to do more good than doing nothing and shaking our heads in frustration. Among my followers I have people in practically every nation on Earth and certainly every state in the United States. Could you commit to this? One article and the effort to get it read? I am calling on my friends in South Africa, Wales, Australia and Kenya. I am calling on my friends in Florida, New York, Iowa and Oregon. One article from each of you; let’s see if we can make a difference together.

So what should we call our movement? What name reflects our goals? We have to have a common name that appears in each article title so that we increase our viewership on Google, right? We need to flood the internet with articles all carrying the same name. What shall it be?

May I propose a name? I suggest we call it H.O.W……Humanity One World!

Will you join me?

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2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

A reading of my poem


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