By Amando Dominick
One would find it crazy if they would stop and think about how far humans have come as a civilization.
We came from very meek beginnings. No matter what your personal belief is concerning the evolution of mankind, no one is contending that the first humans walked around eating Raising Canes, talking about the latest Baylor football scores and debating medical ethics on their new iPhones.
To me, what is even crazier is how much farther we have to go as a civilization.
Even as we sit here and gripe about menial things such as 9 a.m. classes and the fact that you have to be in a car to get food from Wendy’s past midnight (which is ridiculous and does not make a lot of sense to me as a ravenous, car-less consumer, but I digress), there are people across the world dying because they do not have access to basic amenities that we all take for granted.
I believe the Internet refers to the typical Baylor student’s “problems” as a “first world problem.”
Let’s remember one terrible, albeit perfect, example. Everyone remembers the whole “Kony 2012” campaign. For those of you who missed the extremely viral and moving movement, it originated as a YouTube video and it was essentially a call to arms for the world to recognize that one man was enslaving children into his army and generally just doing malicious, evil things to Africans and he needed to be stopped.
Many took this campaign seriously and sincerely wanted to change the world — for about a week. Then human apathy came into play — the “out of sight, out of mind” and “I do not see the problem, therefore it does not exist” mentalities swiftly made themselves shown across America and much of the world. It quickly became the punch-line of jokes.
However, even though we joke about things such as Kony 2012, the fact remains that there are still men, women and children across the world that are suffering in much worse ways than we are here in the Baylor Bubble, simply because the world is a vicious place.
We live in a country where being poor does not automatically mean that you will die alone and starving in the streets, but rather that you must only humble yourself to get assistance.
Many countries in the world have large populations of people making less than $5 a day and can do nothing to change their immediate circumstances.
Just the fact that you can read this column means that you are better off than a large percentage of the world, because there are still portions of the earth that have literacy rates under the 50 percent mark.
I do not intend to sound like one of those commercials where some random celebrity walks on screen and starts with the classic “for just five dollars a day” line.
No, my intentions are just to remind readers of the Baylor Lariat that no matter how bad of a day they are having, they are always having a better day than the vast majority of their human counterparts across the globe, in America and even right here in Waco, Texas.
Last year as a freshman, I lived my first two semesters at Baylor in a little dormitory called Kokernot Hall. I loved the dorm and the friends I made there, but, as many Baylor students know, it is not necessarily the nicest dorm on campus. I would go visit my friends in their other respective homes, including but not limited to Brooks Flats, North Village, Aspen Heights and others. Every single time, I would become instantly jealous of how nice and big their places were and then I would begrudgingly walk back to my old dorm and angrily play Call of Duty against 12-year-olds, who also happened to be awake past their bedtimes, across the world until I fell asleep in my jealousy.
Eventually, after losing enough online games, it all clicked in my head. I had absolutely no right to be angry, mad or even upset.
My mind flashed back to the years of ministry and service work I had done in New Orleans both before and after Hurricane Katrina, and I remembered all of the people living in slums right here in 21st century America.
No matter how bad of a day you are having, praise God that you have the breath in your lungs to complain about it, because thousands of people today will not have that same opportunity.
Amando Dominick is a sophomore neuroscience major from New Orleans. He is a staff writer at the Baylor Lariat.