When I was younger, The Black Eyed Peas released the song ‘Where Is The Love?’. It was everywhere. It was number one in the UK charts for weeks, played on every radio station and subconsciously hummed be everyone I knew. It was an anthem calling for peace and unity and we were asked to ask ourselves ‘where is the love?’
I’m going to ask you to ask yourself that question once more.
Years have passed since that song came out but the issues it discusses are still the same – people killing, people dying, people hurt, people crying. There’s still corruption, still people controlling others, still violence being normalised, still marginalised groups being oppressed. We live in a sometimes scary world. Trans people are having their rights stripped away, women are being denied basic healthcare, fear of ‘The Other’ is spreading like a plague, the gap between rich and poor is ever growing, the planet is quite literally dying around us. Where is the love in that?
Sometimes it seems like the world’s issues are too big for us to fix. Sometimes it seems too much. Sometimes it seems like we are one lone, timid voice, a drop in the ocean, but that’s not the case. We are more powerful than we realise.
I recently watched a video of Oprah giving a speech. She said that she runs a seminar for students and tells them to first be good and charitable to yourself, then your family, then your community and then the world. To me, her advice made perfect sense. When you feel good in yourself, you can pass that goodness on to someone else and they in turn can pass that goodness on again and again and again. It’s like a human chain of kindness and it really doesn’t take much to be the catalyst to put that into effect. If you want to make a difference, you can be the first domino to topple.
We can’t singlehandedly change the world, but we can create a ripple effect that does. Whilst I know that I’ll never be able to walk into a UN meeting and demand changes, I can do something kind for a neighbour, support a charity that helps end period poverty or sign a petition that means the climate crisis will be talked about in government. I can be the reason someone has a good day. I can be the difference. My voice may only be small but when used it carries meaning. My actions can help others and not just myself.
If the ideas in ‘Where Is The Love?” are still relevant today, then the effect that song had on the world is also still relevant. That song united people and started discussions that needed to be had. Why not start them up again? Why not ask each other to be a little kinder, to do the right thing, to not turn the other cheek? Why not show each other where the love is?