On Monday, I cut my hair. Fascinating, I know, but bear with me for a moment. I’ve always had long hair for as far back as I can remember. I think half the reason was me being stubborn because my parents always wanted short hair so I wouldn’t clog up the shower drain as much, but mostly, I’ve always had long hair because, well, I like it.
I’m not going to lie, though, it was a bit of a shock to get used to my new ‘do. Whilst cutting my hair (I’ve been cutting my own hair since I was about 12), there was a part of me that dorkily pretended to be Mulan in that scene where she decides to join the army in her father’s place. You know, when realises that if her father went, he would surely die, and her sacrifice would be worth it, whatever happened to her. Look, we all do dumb things in our alone~ time, stop judging.
For a moment, let’s just ignore my mildly unhealthy obsession with a Disney cartoon and go back to that idea of sacrifice. I’ve made a lot of semi-serious jokes about an impending World War Three in the past few months, perhaps a knee-jerk reaction to the quite frankly, depressing way of the world right now. But if- and hopefully this is a big “if”- anything close to a war happened to my corner of the world, would I be able to step up to defend the ones I love? Could I do it for others I don’t even know? Could I ever truly be able to lay down my life for someone else?
In all honesty, I don’t think I could. Perhaps it’s selfishness, or fear, or deliberately choosing not to- or even an unholy trinity of them all. I know I’m lucky enough to live in an area that’s not a warzone, or to be affected by the horrors that are sadly, part of everyday life in some parts of the world. It’s easy to become desensitised to yet another news report of violence. But if, or when, that violence hits home and directly affects us, how would we really react? There’s no way of truly knowing unless it actually happened, and if it does, we would all like to think that someone out there, would be on our side.
So why is it so hard to do the same for others?
Ultimately, I think it comes down to ignorance- but to what extent it is a lack of knowledge or a deliberate choice, I’m not entirely sure. I will be the first to admit I’m also guilty of choosing to ignore certain problems in the world, simply because it’s “inconvenient”. I don’t have much influence in the world, or money, or power, or fame. But I don’t think these things are obligatory to make a difference.
It just starts with one simple thing: choosing to care.