Heads in the sand
It’s not a new occurrence; people have been hiding from the truth since the first lie was invented. Hell, most people can’t even handle the truth, it breaks them or warps them in such a way that the reality they knew to be true is now viewed as a cynical facade. If something happens that is worldwide news usually one of two things will happen. The media and internet will buzz and buzz about it for the next few weeks, giving it a nice title, usually ending with –gate. Or it will go totally undiscussed, only showing up on obscure forums and in small circles of discussion. It’s one of the world’s oldest tricks; misdirection is a magician’s greatest tool. And the audience’s willingness to believe what they had just seen, you can compare this form of entertainment to how people react to world news.
Either they believe what they are being told or they aren’t being told at all. For all that is seen and unseen, it can feel as though there is one all too common thing people tend to do when confronted with new information. They ignore it, choosing to look the other way and bar the truth from their line of sight. Some just sweep it under the rug, jollily moving along with our day unaffected, others are so high up the clouds that they can’t see what is really going on down in the dirt. Meanwhile, others have their heads stuck so far down in that dirt they wouldn’t know they were looking at the truth even if it stared them straight in the face. The truth has become convenient, so many conspiracy theories, false flags and hoaxes that its becoming difficult to trust anything anyone says, it’s getting to the point where if one is not doing something their way it will go undone entirely.
This does not apply to all people.Things rarely do. There is a good many in America that choose to be ignorant rather than be informed, from Congress, the police force and presidents, all the way down to local citizens. It goes beyond news and internet buzz, but actually going to experience things firsthand, rather than living vicariously through one another. Understanding that not everyone has the same economic opportunities doesn’t mean accepting limiting one’s scope and not trying new things. Don’t attempt to shield existence from the world; instead embrace it, because when the world comes knocking, there won’t be any other choice but to open that door and greet whatever waits on the other side.
When dreams reign
Modern society, along with the technology it creates, has given people an unprecedented ability to affect change in the world around them. Social media platforms offer the chance to join like-minded groups fighting for a just cause, and has proven effective with results like the Arab Spring. There is also many pitfalls one can fall into when so much power lies at the tips of one’s fingers. It can easily become overwhelming, when every perceived sleight in one’s life, every stray thought can potentially snowball into a movement with less than 140 characters. Rather than taking the next logical step, going out and making an effort to push one’s agenda forward through the proper channels, the allure of casting aside a difficult struggle in favor of moving on to the next viral fad leads many to lazily flounder.
The pejorative “slacktivist” has been coined for those that find themselves caught, flopping this way and that on the shoreline that is the sideline they relegate themselves to when talk supersedes action. These are the people one might run across on Twitter, who seem to be in support of every cause under the sun and yet never seem to bring up what they are actually doing to advance those causes. Indecisiveness and lack of attention span may be factors that contribute to this strange equilibrium, where all is discussed but nothing is done. Whatever the reasons, spreading oneself so thin without the benefit of progressing towards a goal is how important events borne out of necessity for change can die on the vine.
The well-known quote of Mahatma Gandhi, “be the change that you wish to see in the world,” seems lost. Paying lip service and spreading the word is worthwhile, but at a certain point one must stop talking about what needs to be done and start doing it. Also, think critically and examine even closely held convictions; causes that may seem benign or benevolent may be organized by groups with less scrupulous intentions. Righteous causes have collapsed because the groups championing them lacked cohesion, the people they are comprised of wavering instead of bolstering each other. Thus, the need to be comfortable with all the means and methods of any group is crucial to its success; this sense of comfort can only be completely attained when one educates oneself and is dedicated to maintaining acceptable standards. Taking the time to do things correctly and thoroughly affords the ideals, beliefs, and desires one seeks to be imprinted on the world a greater chance of success.