There are too many headlines to keep track of and yet I can guarantee you’ve read very little anyhow. There is Adou, the eight year old African boy recently found in a suitcase, smuggled into Spain to be reunited with his mother; paired with a photo of the x-ray scan of his little frame curled between towels and clothes which will haunt me forever in the most profound way. There is the historic vote to be made in Ireland on same-sex marriages, or the charges now dropped against Ray Rice for violently beating his then fiance, brutally captured on video. There’s the oil spill in California threatening more wildlife or the Canadian efforts being made to stop youth from joining terrorist movements across the world.

And yet I bet you haven’t read a thing. I remember sitting down with a beautiful friend who said she was trying to politely smack people with the knowledge that you can in fact handle more than you allow yourself to. She was referring to her and her family’s recent decision to begin fostering newborns. “I couldn’t do that; you’re so brave” people would say to her. She shook her head, between her and I, she was disgraced. Choosing to know the world isn’t easy, but it is necessary. My goodness friends, it is time we process the present to prepare for and follow through on a brighter future.

I volunteer with an organization who befriends women working in the sex industry. It isn’t to change them or their ways. Rather, we are aware of the awful circumstances that very obviously surround their line of work, and want to support them as much as we can. “Oh wow”, people say, “you are so amazing. I couldn’t handle seeing that, wow…” they say with a trail of amusement and horror mixed on their face. There will always be terror, abuse, fear, anger and sadness in our world. But there must always be the brave ones too.

I’ve often listened to others talk about only showing positive messages on Facebook, or their annoyance of those who choose to share news of the world that might put a damper on their day. Honestly, I am disgraced. I don’t think we need to or should live a life in deep darkness with bad news sprawling across our minds and Facebook wall. But I do think there is a sense of irresponsibility when we choose to ignore the world. I think there is beauty in understanding the world as is, so we can choose to fight for the formation of a beautiful history. One in which we would have to apologize for, or hide shamfully from.

History books talk often about events we still try to ignore; events we try to erase or continue to apologize for in shame. While I’m adventuring in Australia, sitting with people from Japan, Germany, France, Taiwan, Holland and beyond, I wonder how we could choose to live ignorantly of the world. I wonder how it doesn’t matter to mothers in Canada that an eight year old from Africa had to live in a suitcase to be reunited with his mother, and at best will have one year with her before decisions are made about his future. I wonder how it doesn’t matter to men that football players with public platforms are able to knock their wife out publicly and have no real repercussions from their actions beside a hundred-dollar fine and some anger management counseling. Watch that video, would you?

I guess what I’m saying, surrounded in this hostel with representation from the whole world is, how could we not be brave? How could we look at the formation of our very own history books and know it was us who said “Oh wow, I could never do that”? There is so much going on in the world, but I can bet you haven’t chose to read a thing.