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One huge thing that just bugs the piss out of me is when people say they are hoping for a change. We have an 11 Trillion dollar National Debt and people respond by saying they are hoping for change. Our government is just broken in so many ways and people respond by saying they hope things will change for the better. We've got toxic waste washing up on the beaches, overflowing landfills, toxic rain denuding the mountain tops and homeless polar bears and people hope that someone will do something to make it all better.

In my limited experience of 44 years on this planet I've not seen many thing change for the good just by people hoping they will. Oh sure, someone wins the lottery now and then but they still had to go buy a ticket didn't they?

The big things I've seen change or have been a part of changing have taken a lot of people moving and shaking from the inside until something shook loose and allowed for new stuff to grow or be built.

And despite the apparent greater awareness of global issues now, I'm afraid to say I've seen most of my fellow North Americans (yes this includes you Canadians) grow more and more apathetic about actually doing anything to affect change and just hoping things will get better.

The world is what we make of it people. I know it seems like a daunting task to try and solve all the world's problems. But you know what? We CAN put out the little fires that are closer to home. Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up.

You voted. I'm proud of you. But then when your elected officials don't do what you think they should do, bug the piss out of them like you would an errant child until they get the message. Make some noise. Don't let people get away with stuff. The shit as they say always rolls downhill. And guess who is standing at the bottom of the hill? You guessed it. So start at the bottom of the hill and work upwards. Bug your local officials until they get tired of you and either do something or start bugging the guys above them. I think a lot of higher level officials feel insulated from the rest of us by all the levels of government below them but they are not untouchable.

We've let things get fucked up and they are not going to get better overnight. And yeah, it's a shitty deal that we can't just sit back and enjoy life and let another generation clean up our mess. But it's becoming rapidly apparent that we have to do something about the mess.

And if that means I can't just check out to my survival cabin in the mountains and live off the grid pretending I'm not affected by any of this then that dream will have to die.

Ok, I'll step down off my soapbox now. You can go back to your regularly schedule program for tonight but tomorrow you better be getting on the phone and calling your elected officials and telling them what to do.

Peace

Wander

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
be4u
Dec. 4th, 2009 01:59 am (UTC)
Mostly I see people just wanting to bitch. And no, I don't mean *you* :)

Along with what you said here...I'd probably be OK if all they said was they hoped for a change, rather than bitching about e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. That attitude adds TO the apathy, because it sets up an impossible and unattainable attitude. Nothing is ever good enough, no one can ever do enough.

Screw that. Unless you're part of the solution (and bitching about things isn't it), you're part of the problem.
wander
Dec. 4th, 2009 05:54 am (UTC)
I really wish the people who bitched and did nothing would just shut the hell up to be honest.

W
be4u
Dec. 4th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
You hold 'um down, and I'll get out the duct tape!

:)
juan_gandhi
Dec. 4th, 2009 02:07 am (UTC)
Looking around you, do you see many people willing to think for themselves, to have and express an opinion, not "what Obama said", and take responsibility, and do something? Say, starting with taking care of their kids education (including PE... and not just throwing and catching a ball)?

I'm afraid we have big problems; people are more or less satisfied with what they have; they just want a little bit more, without any inclination to do anything about it, and without any willingness to recognize the exclusive position in which American people now are.

I'm afraid this country is gradually turning into something like Sweden or Argentina. Socialized everything; no need to put any efforts or fight for themselves. I don't believe we can fix it. That's how things are.

Maybe a survival cabin in the mountains is the way to go, but I would not worry much. Social degradation takes decades. And more, America reinvented itself so many times in the past, that we still can have some hope. So maybe the people that "hope for change" are not that wrong. They are kind of viewers. The role they are used to. It's all on tv anyway. (Actually, not anymore.)
nayrene
Dec. 4th, 2009 03:40 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing your opinion. I'm not sure what you mean by being "afraid this country is gradually turning into something like Sweden or Argentina." Do you mean that socialization in the economic sense or in some other way scares you? Are you saying you think having socialized forms of government are contributing to apathy? And what about the American economy or current governmental systems makes you believe we can't fix it?
juan_gandhi
Dec. 6th, 2009 06:39 am (UTC)
Oh yes, it does. I had spent too much of my life in socialism. I saw it. "Let big brother wash the dishes."

Regarding fixing it - actually, America is known to be able to reinvent itself, so, while a perceived danger exists, I would not over-exaggerate its probability.

jamesbaxter
Dec. 4th, 2009 03:23 am (UTC)
Right on!!!
opakele
Dec. 4th, 2009 03:30 am (UTC)
You are right.

I fear it has to be burnt to the ground and rebuilt, to make it right. I'm not sure I want to be around after that happens.
wander
Dec. 4th, 2009 05:52 am (UTC)
I'm not sure it has to be burnt to the ground but people do need to start realizing that they are not powerless to make changes. All those elected officials can be unelected too.

W
nayrene
Dec. 4th, 2009 03:37 am (UTC)
Nice rant. I feel like I make connections daily with people with whom I share a desire for a better life and a willingness to do something to accomplish it. I was pooh-poohing a Young Professionals meeting that was held earlier this week at our local chamber of commerce and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was full of people who were on the same page as you -- (and not to lump you in with Gandhi unless it's okay with you) "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

I also feel like the current economic situation throws into relief for Americans the same tests of character, belief, and engagement that have occurred for some culture, somewhere, for all time for eons. I'll probably get blasted off the rock by some people for saying this, but two things about corporate culture that I DID like when I was part of it was that usually, one was rewarded for bringing up a problem -- no matter how small or to what end -- AND a potential solution or some place to start to correct it, and that the most successful people I saw in action in that culture NEVER thought they had all the answers -- they were always willing to listen and to give their opinions as honestly as they could.
wander
Dec. 4th, 2009 05:51 am (UTC)
Yep, I agree on the corporate thing. For all it's evils, that is a good aspect of it all.

W
wander
Dec. 4th, 2009 05:53 am (UTC)
Oh and lump me in with Gandhi anytime.

W
beautyofgrey
Dec. 4th, 2009 04:38 am (UTC)
Sorry, we're too tired working our asses off over here (for the government, oddly) to have time to *change* things. ;)

You know the saying...the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned out due to financial constraints.... well, finally the people up top are feeling that. I think it can only be a good thing.
wander
Dec. 4th, 2009 05:50 am (UTC)
I'd just be happy if people realized that with rights come responsibilities. You can only have representative government if you let yours reps know what concerns you. If you don't then you get what you deserve.

W
nayrene
Dec. 4th, 2009 06:27 am (UTC)
That's why I think that's exactly what we have right now, a "representational" government -- that is, it reflects the qualities of American citizen of today. This topic is of great interest to me; 1 in 250 Americans adopts citizenship in its fullest sense. Perhaps 1 in 1000 Americans has equipped him/herself with enough knowledge about an issue to attempt to effect change or at least affect the policy-makers/draft legislation/form political action groups/develop grassroots movements.
virga_flame
Dec. 4th, 2009 06:28 am (UTC)
Who did you vote for? Oh, really? I told you so.
nayrene
Dec. 4th, 2009 08:18 am (UTC)
Don't you think voting is, well, the tip of the iceberg of citizenship? Aren't there so many other things about being a citizen that enthrall you (or at least demand your attention, to do it right)? And, ultimately, aren't you always voting for the lesser of evils?
wander
Dec. 4th, 2009 03:07 pm (UTC)
I actually didn't tell you who I voted for remember. But no matter who it was, it would not have changed the fact that a whole bunch of people are apathetic and the government has been broken at several levels for a long time. No one administration will be able to fix all the problems. What I get fed up with is people thinking that voting is their only responsibility in the process.

W
virga_flame
Dec. 4th, 2009 03:33 pm (UTC)
It was meant as more of a general comment: No matter who we vote for, they will do the wrong thing. And they will not listen to us when we bug them, because they know there isn't anyone else worth voting for. Sure, we could run against them. But in order to get elected, we have to become what we despise. The whole system is irreparably broken, and nothing short of a zombie apocalypse will shake things up badly enough to allow us to put something better in its place. And so all our efforts, from voting to volunteering to organizing letter-writing campaigns... They are all doomed to failure.
wander
Dec. 4th, 2009 04:04 pm (UTC)
We could all stop paying our taxes all at once. I've often wondered what would happen if we did that. It might be the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. I think it doesn't have to be a hopeless situation. That there has to be some way of rebuilding it without completely starting over.

W
vainpoppy
Dec. 4th, 2009 02:29 pm (UTC)
Do you think individual communities fear being self-sustaining? As in as long as the federal govt is the dumping ground for everything...there is no individual responsibilities? I don't understand this shift in dodging ownership. Especially when it seems our education system is encouraging it.
wander
Dec. 4th, 2009 04:14 pm (UTC)
Our education system isn't a free thinking, free-acting entity. It functions as a mirror of a lot of organizations that don't necessarily have education as their main goal. The end result of curricula and books and teacher's salaries are kind of like sausage. You don't really want to know or see what goes into it all. I've been frankly amazed over the years working in the textbook industry of what the prime influences are of what goes into books. It's both amazing and scary.

I think we just have to really start taking ownership of everything again and not assuming someone else will take care of it for us. I think we all have to have some entrepreneurial spirit.

The most successful communities I've seen (like the one I'm living in now) have decided to take control of most aspects of community life and make improvements and many have done so without the help of higher level government. But if you expect big government to help out, then you have to make enough noise to get noticed on the National stage. Then at the very least, they might throw some money at your problem to get you to quiet down.

W
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )