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What’s Wrong with the World, Mama?

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I’ve always loved the song Where Is The Love? by the Black Eyed Peas and Justin Timberlake. I would, and still do to this day, rap all of the lyrics by The Black Eyed Peas and sing all of JT’s high notes in the chorus to my mom in the car. My favorite lyric to imitate to my mom is the first line of the first verse:

“What’s wrong with the world, mama?”

At a younger age, I wasn’t affected as much by the lyrics. Maybe because I didn’t think about the truth in the reality of the lyrics as I do now. As they say, the truth hurts and so do words, and I can feel the lyrics more than ever. Especially since I see the love growing sparsely in the world around me.

Why is it that someone feels the need to take the life of someone else away so easily? I can’t imagine purposely taking the life of a living being, whether I knew them or not. I find it astonishingly disgusting that someone could have the courage to be in an environment that’s foreign to them, not knowing one personality, and open fire among complete strangers who could’ve potentially been friends. Was their victims’ presence in this world affecting them so much on a personal level that they wouldn’t bare to let them exist another day on Earth?

Maybe if a person who was capable of creating this much hate would have woke up that day and said to themselves, “I want to spread love to the world today,” millions of deserving lives would’ve been saved. In fact, maybe those people would have met their lifetime friend, their partner in crime, someone who became a person they couldn’t live without. Instead, all they will know them by are the names on the graves and the names in their murder charges. They had a chance to put hate behind bars and release love in the world.

What hurts the most is the feeling the people have to live with who did lose their lifetime friend, their partner in crime, and the person they couldn’t live without. These people didn’t get a chance to defend their loved ones or convince the shooter that it wasn’t the right decision, to put the gun down and chose to distribute peace, not bullets. Do you think the killer even had a glimpse of a thought or care for the families and friends of these victims, while they were in the process of determining and altering their futures and emotions forever?

The scary aspect about the world is that these tragedies happen in a blink of an eye. There are no opportunities to cherish the gleam in their eyes looking back at you, no goodbyes, no last ‘I love you’s , no second chances. The only person who determines whether or not these people have another day, minute, second, is the person behind the barrel of the gun. Would their mind change the second they thought about never controlling their fate, speaking, or breathing again? Would they release the bullets from the gun and see that it’s really their life they’re holding hostage, free the hate from their minds, and embrace a world of love and peace?

I wish they would.   

It takes one small act of kindness to make the world a better place. Imagine if everyone in the world made it their purpose and goal everyday to do a nice gesture for someone or give a stranger a reason to smile. With one compliment, one favor, one smile, this could make all the difference. Imagine if you turned on the news and heard that more friendships were being made in bars rather than lives being lost. Would it make you want to get out of your comfort zone and dance with a stranger rather than reserving yourself at home, contemplating the possibility of this man made nightmare that has become a recurring pattern?

Wouldn’t it be comforting if the lyrics in the 2003 R&B melody weren’t true to this date? If we were able to able to ask the question, “What’s wrong with the world, mama?” inferring that the world was too bright and radiant that any worry was too small to see beyond the rays?

The context can only change if we realize we are the world, and we are the change.

About the Writer
Mikayla Newham, Impact Staff

 Mikayla Newham is a senior at Mercy College. She was born and raised in Redding, California, but came to Mercy to pursue her dream as a college softball...

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What’s Wrong with the World, Mama?