Albert Einstein once said, “The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm, but because of those who look at it without doing anything.”
As a humanitarian, that quote is what fuels the fire within my heart.
For many years, I was the person who looked upon people in need and turned away because I didn’t have the courage to help. Yes, courage! It takes bravery to step outside the lines and help when no one else will. As a society, we are so prone to turn away from anything outside of our comfort zone, but just like anything else, it takes practice.
I began making my difference through music. As a musician, I knew I had the power to be heard and wanted to make sure that I gave a positive message. As a tween and teenager, I was subjected to bullying from being overweight and I knew that was my first stepping-stone to speak (or sing) out on. I wrote a song with my good friend, Sophie Dupin, called, “Little Voices.” The song is about taking control of your life and tuning out the negativity that surrounds you.
“’Till now you’ve taken the reigns, but I am making a change because I can’t stay the same – the voices call my name. As I am taking control, I will swallow them whole. Silence! Their world goes black, I’m taking what they stole back.”
My main focus for that song was to try and encourage people to be the ones they aspired to be and take what anyone has stolen from them, like their confidence.
After about a year of intense positive musicianship, I knew I wanted to do more. After much research, I found an opportunity to go to Kenya on a mission trip. As mentioned before, it was a chance to step outside of my comfort zone and give back to the world after it’s given so much to me. I struggled with lack of good plumbing, constant bug bites and a difficulty with language barriers, but what did I get in return? A world of reward! With my team, we built churches, taught English and Christianity, visited and comforted prisoners and fed children.
There is no feeling like truly acknowledging the power of human connection by simply offering a helping hand.
Being a humanitarian doesn’t need to be as extensive as writing powerful songs or traveling to another country.
Humanitarian work is doing what you can, when you can. It means being kind, helpful and having compassion for all things living on this planet. I encourage you to try and find outlets for teams targeted toward what you are passionate about, but in some cases, it may take time to find one you work well with. Don’t be discouraged. Also, never be embarrassed or afraid to stand out and do something when you feel like someone should. Eleanor Roosevelt, one of the greatest humanitarians in American history said, “It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself.”
Written by Julie Mar | a singer/songwriter who first began writing lyrics at age 11
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