Numb and Number – Complacency In America – PLEASE VOTE!
Posted Oct 18 2010 12:00am
The election will be upon us soon. You can tell. The airwaves are filled with noise, accusation, and hyperbole, picking at the edges of our social compact while trying to activate the aggravated and disconnect the overwhelmed and barely attentive.
Are you feeling a little overwhelmed? Are you a little numb right about now as politicians compete for who has the least vision for the future, who has the greatest ability to pander to short term interests and ignore greater responsibilities? Feel like it’s not your problem, like opting out, like letting it play out without participating?
Telling yourself that somehow it will all work out? After all, if you just let things slide, don’t they always have a way of working themselves out anyway? Isn’t it really enough to just get by from day to day? Why you should care enough to give your very best to the way your life and our world turns out?
Like misery, complacency loves company. And misery has plenty of company. Bad company. The kind of company whose disinterest deepens the national malaise, and at what may be the most critically important time to wake up, care, and get involved.
It’s quite likely that a cow before the slaughter has a similar feeling of numb complacency, and no awareness of danger and trouble until, MOOOOOO!, it’s too late to do anything about it. Whenever you think it isn’t up to you, or that it isn’t worth the bother, look at your wrists and ankles, and you may see that you’re wearing the chains of willful ignorance and complacency.
Consider the risks and hardships endured by your ancestors so that you could have the luxury of abdicating on your social, political and personal responsibility. They lived without plumbing and refrigeration, no phones or televisions or computers to keep them distracted from their lives. They waited months for a letter or package, sometimes longer. They scratched a living from the dirt, then gathered to sing and dance, to offer support and encouragement to one another. In the face of the tremendous challenges of pre-modern life, they consistently found that they were up to the challenge, because they knew that the responsibility for the future was theirs, that it was up to them to build a better society for coming generations.
Yet even in their time, complacency had the power to threaten their freedom and steal away all they had worked for. Patrick Henry spoke out against the complacent do-nothings of his time, when he said “ Why stand we here idle? What is it the gentlemen want? What would they have? Is life so dear, is peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
His meaning was clear: Complacency is a form of slavery, binding one to a living death of inaction, non participation and default. The shackles are easy to slip into. They’re comfortable chains at first, because they require nothing but your disinterest and indifference.
Please get involved, get informed, and vote! Don’t leave our fate to the angry mob, the tea baggers, religious nuts and selfish few who will vote, not for the future, but to slow down, stop and reverse change. Vote for your own interests. Vote for your children’s interests. Vote for a better future! Don’t let the anger and hate and toxic fog generated by the talking heads and political ads get in the way of YOU making YOUR best choice.