Friends say to me, “Why do you spend so much time worrying about politics? What will be, will be. Why not spend your time enjoying life? You’re going to drive yourself to an early grave. Just chill and have fun.” This post is my response to those people.
Why do I spend so much time worrying about politics? I don’t. I spend that much time worrying about what is happening in this nation, in the world. I spend that much time speaking out, sometimes ranting, about the injustices I see in this world. I look at our government taking innocent children from their parents’ arms, tossing them into detention centers with naught but a piece of tinfoil for a blanket, and I say, “This is wrong!” I see decisions being made by a few in the upper echelons of government that completely disregard the concerns of scientists and environmentalists … decisions that are hastening the end of life on this planet, and I say, “This is wrong!”
I see a ‘man’ who is supposed to represent this nation, who is supposed to represent the ideals of a nation founded on “liberty and justice for all”, denigrating people in the LGBT community, calling Hispanics and Muslims terrible names, making racial, homophobic, and misogynistic slurs and more, and I cannot help but say, “This is wrong!” I see decisions made that ensure the rich get richer while the poor are denied adequate health care, housing, food, and the basic necessities of life, and yes, once again I say, “This is wrong!”
A number of my friends claim that I just don’t like Trump. No, I don’t like him …But, it isn’t only Trump … it is also those who either support or applaud the policies of this administration, policies that are discriminatory against minorities, against women, against non-Christians, against LGBT, and against the poor. Policies that put this nation and its people in grave danger. Policies and rhetoric that alienate our allies, while patronizing our enemies. And it is also the people who turn a blind eye, who know that these things are wrong but bury themselves inside their bubble, their comfort zone, and pretend they don’t see the children in cages crying themselves to sleep at night. It is those who believe that they have no obligation to do their part to clean up our environment, who tell me that somehow some magical creator of the universe will make everything right again in good time, so they can continue tossing away their plastic bottles, driving their gas-guzzling SUVs, and living life just as they have always done.
And it is those who believe that somehow, they are better than others, either because of the colour of their skin, their religion, their sexual orientation, or their ethnicity. Those who worry that the people with pale skin will someday not be the majority, will not have the final say in what this nation will be. It is the arrogance, the ignorance, and the greed that I do not like, can no longer tolerate.
Those same friends then say, “Well, you cannot fix the problems, so why not relax, enjoy life, have some fun … lighten up.”
No, I cannot fix the problems by myself … no one person can. But I can do my part, and I can keep using the little voice I have to make others aware of the many injustices happening right under our very noses. There is an old saying that, “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink”. I am attempting to lead the horse to the clear, cool stream in hopes that he will drink. I cannot do otherwise, it is who I am. But, I am getting tired …
Tired of seeing people surrounding themselves with so much noise that it drowns out the things that actually matter. Tired of people burying their heads in the sand, wearing their rosy-coloured glasses, sticking their fingers in their ears and singing, “La-la-la-la-la … I can’t hear you!”
Why do I do what I do? Because it matters, at least to me. Because we are on a collision course, and much like the passengers aboard the Titanic, the majority will still be dancing, posting pictures of their last meal on social media, and pretending they just don’t see, when the ship hits the iceberg. We all have a choice to be a part of the solution, or a part of the problem, but there is no neutral choice. If you choose to ignore it all, if you choose not to be part of the solution, then you ARE the problem. We have all contributed to the problem for long enough. Now it is time to be part of the solution.
Quite by coincidence, as this post was a work-in-progress this morning, I saw a comment by our friend Roger who offered the following quote by Elie Wiesel …
“Always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
Think about it.