Sunday, August 07, 2011

Believing in Perceived Power

Many of us have a penchant for avoiding being 'responsible'. I don't mean personally responsible for whatever we do or cause. I mean responsible for the lives, welfare, and success of those around us. Americans, in particular these days, have enough issues in their daily lives so that they choose NOT to participate in activities, whose success or failure will impact their neighbours, family or even strangers.

So what do we do instead? We give the power of decision making to somebody else, to a governmental stiff who may be a thoughtful, rational, compassionate individual or who may be a sociopath milking the system for all s/he can.

We let S&P decide how good our economic system is. We let Dems and Repubs decide which debts our govt can create and when those debts will be paid off. We let our President decide when/if we will begin a war or end one and where on the planet to send CIA operatives busily engaged in instigating WW3.

You know as well as I do that if a million of us were to act together, to take the personal responsibility to walk in a peaceful demonstration - to walk to the sea for salt, if you will - those to whom we have given our right to decide, would decide in favour of the position the million held.

We have become so engrossed in the process of building new stairs to the second floor or putting in a new bathroom or working three jobs to make sure the kiddies have shoes in which to go to school, or in paying for the TEVO, that we no longer even consider taking a week or a day to actually involve ourselves in a combined, concerted action to make sure that the basic needs of the country itself - a balanced budget, health care for children, a social security program that makes sure that every citizen has a roof over her/his head while sleeping tonight.

Instead we quietly and rather desperately ignore the young American men and women killed as they invaded a foreign country yesterday and pretend that someone else will make sure that the lights turn on when we flip the switch tonight.

There was a time when it was otherwise. Perhaps we need to return to to those days of activism.

'says she who flees the country whenever real strife overwhelms the American psyche'