Ramblings about Fixing the World
Oh, Brother №4: A weekly prompt series where my brother and I answer each other’s made-up writing prompts to inspire ourselves out of writer’s block.
My brother’s prompt this week:
If you could fix one thing in the world, what would it be? And how would fixing it benefit the world?
My cursor blinks at me on the computer screen. Its taunting me. Write something already. What would you fix in this world? What CAN you fix? How does your simple existence benefit the world?
Existential crises are my worst enemies of late. In the monotonous grind of my 9–5 job, I find my hour long commutes mini sets of purgatory. A 39-minute (give or take) drive down Beverly Glen through wealthy Cold Water Canyon can be as cathartic as it is drudging. Some days the drive can be mindless and therapeutic, consuming my mind with each road, turn and brake. Other days, I am overwhelmed with overthought and the conflicts in my mind. Paranoid thoughts of a girl who maybe isn’t doing enough.
To begin answering the question at hand, I must state that I do not believe a fix can be forever. Perhaps the reason for my struggle with this question is that my overthought has begun its course and I see a terrible end in sight to any forever fix in the world.
For example, let’s say I cured world hunger by magically engineering our bodies to need nothing else but breathing. It would seem like it would benefit the world because the awful starvation and malnutrition crisis in several parts of the world cease to exist. However, I argue that even with this fix, an onslaught of new problems would arise. Now that people do not have to worry about feeding themselves, they can have more kids. With an increase in population, the demand for jobs would increase and the competition for jobs increasingly cutthroat. I would anticipate suicide rates increasing, as humans attempt to find a new sense of purpose, one past the survival instinct of finding food to eat.
In short, there is no important fix that can be without its complex consequences.
That aside, the one “thing” I think would be the most advantageous fix for the entire world is providing an engaging, thought-provoking, quality education to every single human being on the planet. I firmly believe that a basic, but quality education universal to all neighborhoods will not only benefit local communities, but the economy as whole. But alas, I feel that we are so far away from ever truly accomplishing this. It seems the best that we can do is work at a local level and ensure your own family is getting their best education.
“The way you help heal the world is that you start with your own family.” — Mother Theresa
So if I could wave my magic pixie wand and wish for anything to be “forever fixed” it would be equal quality education for everybody. Unimaginable complex consequences would ensue but I think in a way that would benefit those continuously broken down by a system made for those at the top, to stay at the top.
Next prompt: Tell another person’s story/anecdote. Explain its significance and parallel to a moment from your own history.