In the third film of the Austin Powers series, Austin’s father, Nigel Powers, played by Michael Caine engages a fight in Dr. Evil’s lair. As he approaches one of Dr. Evil’s (Mike Myers) random henchmen, Nigel declares, “You don’t stand a chance. You don’t even have a name badge.” His humorous statement illustrates the disposability of minor or random characters in the movies and shows that we enjoy.
In the entertainment media these jabs incite laughter but when I read about the mass of refugees fleeing or attempting to flee Syria and now Iraq or when I consider the countless empty faces of children trapped by an ever-widening net of slavery, I struggle with the immensity of the problem and consequently the need for a solution. Conversely, the pangs of conscience I feel at the notion that I don’t do enough or if I am even able to do enough; or anything for that matter can be disheartening.
It is human nature to invest ourselves emotionally in those closest to us but at what point does our indifference to suffering of strangers begin to harden our hearts? Or at what point does the hardening of our hearts lure us into indifference? Is the pursuit of altruism noble or foolish?
I don’t presume that my occasional ramblings will lead to an overthrow of evil and usher in world peace but I am compelled to champion the cause. If I invest as much effort into this pursuit as so many black-hearted hate-mongers invest into their own selfish designs of conquest at the expense of those without name badges than maybe, just maybe, a few people will find little more peace.
I may never lead the charge of a revolution of peace but as long as my fingers are able to type I will continue to sow seeds of hope and light into an ever-darkening world. “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” It’s a simple rule.
Freedom for the Badge-Less Ones!