When I was on the dance team, my nickname was Bubbles. It was because I would get extremely uncomfortable anytime someone would break into my personal space thus becoming an intruder into my “bubble.” My teammates would tease me about it and Voila, the nickname was created. Bubbles.
The thing about bubbles, though, are that they don’t just depict our personal space; there’s something more to them. Sometimes I feel like I live in bubble– that I was born into it. The bubble is a safe zone, unaffected by the ills of the world such as poverty and disease. The impoverished are cast out like lepers– they don’t make it into this haven, into this bubble that encapsulates us and isolates us from everyone else. This bubble we live in that is so excruciatingly separate from the rest of the world. This bubble we live in that I did nothing to deserve to be a part of. I did nothing– I didn’t have to lift a finger and for some reason God handed me life on a silver platter and I don’t know why. I was born into the most amazing family. I have parents who support me; I have a brother who looks out for me and is always there as a friend, a counselor, a mentor; I have never gone hungry, I have never known what it’s like to not have a home to go to, I have never experienced pain or loss or tragedy. I have best friends who are like my sisters. I have a credit card, debit card, and cash in my wallet (none of which that I actually worked for and earned). I have air in my lungs and a heart pumping blood all throughout my body that is alive and healthy. I am free, I am blessed, and I did nothing for all of this except be born. I have never had to work a day in my life. Now, how is that fair? How is that fair for the 50% of the world’s population born into poverty (http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats)? How is that fair for the 22,000 children dying every day from hunger, disease– the invisible children dying quietly in their homes on the other side of the world safely outside of our bubble. How is it fair for the 14 year old kid lying in a hospital bed unable to move or speak because of the horrific amount of chemo being pumped into his body? Please tell me how this is all fair? What did I do to deserve this life? And what did they do to deserve theirs?
You see in this bubble, we are safe from all that wondering. We see our friends, our family, our lavish homes and cars. But our lives are far from being stress-free– we worry about the future, money, kids, spouses, friends. No, our lives are not easy, but they are safe. We do not need to think about suffering. And death- death is something unforeseen, “down the road,” something we do not have to worry about yet.
So we travel along on this path. It’s normal, you know. All our friends are on the same one. There are some differences, of course. Some might be slightly curved and take a few detours– to law school, med school, and other professional schools or careers. But regardless of these small nuances, there is an overall general path we all follow. We get a job, we get married, we have a family, and we forget. We forget these blogs we made in college, the ones about “the other people.” The people we can’t see, the ones who didn’t make it inside the bubble. We forget that we did nothing to earn our lives– Yes, we worked hard, we studied, we worked 16 hour days, and so we feel entitled to our success. But we forget our roots, our humble beginnings. I was born and therefore I have.
I’m going to grow up one day. I’m going to get on the path and have my family with 2.5 kids and a white picket fence. But I hope, I pray that I never get suctioned back into the bubble. I pray that I never stop working for the people who can’t get inside it. I pray that I always remember the passion that is inside me today; The passion that I have to serve others, to serve my community, the passion I have to learn and explore the world. There is so much beyond our bubble… I’m just tiptoeing the line now, and I can’t wait to break free out of this damn thing.
Let’s tear these walls down.