“Everyone deserves to have life this good, to live as well as we do.” Theology teacher Paul Pryor-Lorentz presented my Theology 4 class with this idea after viewing “The Motorcycle Diaries” last month. In the film, two friends venture across South America and encounter various forms of poverty and hardship in the communities of all the countries they visit, many of whose inhabitants are struggling to survive below the poverty line.
Pryor-Lorentz’s idea is not a new one. Earlier this semester when the entire school watched “Half the Sky,” a documentary on women in the Developing World, no concept was more prevalent than that of luck.
A discussion my theology class has often had since that viewing was one in which we agree that each of us has won the “lottery” that is life. I have done nothing to be born in the industrialized world, in a city as modern and functioning as San Francisco, and to have access to the resources I have.
It was luck.
The Occupy Movement of last year was a small step in the direction of this call for world revision, with people brave enough to sacrifice their own ways of life for a greater cause.
Though this column is not a battle cry for the 99 percent, I do think our world needs to see change, and we need to see it now.
It isn’t fair that women and girls are tortured and killed simply due to their gender. It isn’t fair that men do not share the burden of responsibility that women do. It isn’t fair that there is a “lottery” that has to be won.
I’m not naive. I know that these issues are far more complex and political than my idealism allows. But I believe that they should be solved. I believe that a world as advanced as ours should be able to pull together and make these changes.
I appreciate that this will be difficult. A few cannot live lavishly while billions barely survive.
I also appreciate that if I want the violence and oppression I see in countless movies like “Motorcycle Diaries” and “Half the Sky” to end, my own life will be forever changed as a result. I hate change as much as the next person, and I understand that it is beyond difficult to drastically alter the way the world functions.
I’m not saying it will be easy.
I’m saying it’s necessary.