We are known as the generation of social media—a generation that is self-absorbed into the world of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, miles of pixels deep--a "selfie" generation.
An even more depressing reality is turning on the news and watching adults playing selfish politics and crippling what was once a great nation. But through it all, it is a thing of beauty to learn that many young people have not learned the art of cynicism yet.
Rachel Beckwith is a 9 year-old girl from Seattle, Washington. She has taught our generation a great lesson about humanity at its finest. She passed away at the age of 9 years old on July 23, 2011.
When she was 8 years old, her church fundraised money to build wells in Africa through an organization called charity:water. Rachel was shocked that there were children around the world had no clean drinking water. For her ninth birthday, in lieu of presents, she asked friends to donate $9 to help fund water projects in Africa.
She had set up a charity:water fundraise page with a target of $300. Rachel raised $220 by her birthday, which left her disappointed.
On July 20th, Rachel was riding in a car with her family on the highway, when two trucks collided, and involved 13 cars in the accident. Rachel was in critical condition and passed away a few days after.
Friends and church members began donating on Rachel’s birthday page. Word had spread about Rachel’s last fundraiser and donations poured in. More than a million dollars have been raised from around the world in her name.
Therein lies the crux of the question—how can a nine year-old girl have such great compassion to help people of another continent, people that she have never met?
Perhaps it is this beauty that will save the world.
Imagination. Our initial thought of imagination is correlated to bedtime stories, fairy tales with happy endings, whimsical and romantic poetry. Children possess the infinite power for imagination and can teach us a great deal about our true humanity.
Imagination is the cornerstone of humanity. Music. Art. Science. Technology. Imagination is the irreplaceable human capacity to envision that which does not exist. It is the foundation in which creativity and thought gives birth. In its most quintessential form, it possesses a redemptive power to transform the inner depths of the human heart. It gains us the power to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never experienced.
Those that chose not to exercise such imagination have chosen to live within the bounded cage of comfort. They have chosen ignorance and have ignored the cries of their own. Without executing a crime of doing evil, through their own apathy, they have silently acquiesce to evil.
You do not need a magical wand to change the world. The power lies within us: the gift to imagine better.
R.I.P. Rachel Beckwith, and may our generation never cease to exemplify your heroism of greatness.
Video by: charity: water