World hunger and world conflict are big, impossible problems. They feel too impossible to solve and too big to consider how to solve it, so we shrug them off as acceptable states of the world.
In fact, World Peace™ seems so unattainable, it’s used as an overextended punchline to expose the naïve optimist. We label them as idiots with hearts too big for reality.
Narrow the Focus
There are many things that contribute to the turmoil in the world, and hunger is big one. However, feeding everyone in the world is non-specific, so let’s narrow the focus on your city. If you live in a big metroplex, that’s could also feel too impossible. Are there hungry people in your neighborhood? Again, that problem might be too nebulous.
Are there hungry people on your block or in your building? Now we’re concentrating our attention on a personal level; these are people that are right next to you.
But suppose you actually don’t know. Now we have a step we can take. Once you understand the people around you, you can see their problem. Their struggles become visceral and affect you, and it becomes real. “Feeding the entire continent of Africa” is pretty vague, but asking “how’s your week going” to your neighbor is a step you can take today to get there.
Maybe the people around you need food, their fence repaired, or the poison ivy trimmed from their tree. Maybe they need a ride to the grocery store every week or $300 to cover rent. Figure out what you can do, and on September 21—International Day of Peace—lend a hand to add some peace to the world.
Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.