Against Complacency


I’m in the latter part of a generation which, in its youth, rallied in protest of a seemingly endless war in Vietnam, joined enthusiastically in the civil rights movement, and who pioneered the concept of eco-friendly products and politics.

Now I am wondering how this same generation can sit back and watch what’s happening with a seeming indifference to it. We settle down in front of the television, and we’re consumed by “reality” shows which have very little to do with reality. We watch Fox news and believe everything they say and vote for politicians whose only allegiance is to the wealthy people who fund their campaigns.

Or we watch the mis-identified “liberal news media” and say “Don’t blame me. I voted for Democrats.” And the Democratic leaders are really not much better than their Republican counterparts. Those same channels didn’t start covering the “Occupy” movement until three weeks or more after it began. Thousands of people gathering in the streets of New York City are apparently irrelevant to them.

We buy our groceries from Whole Foods, re-use our bags, and think that is all that we need to do to be considered ecologically minded individuals. We give lip service to it, and think the compost bin in our back yards means we are doing our part. I’m not saying that re-using your bags and using that compost bin are bad; of course they are not. But it is a small piece of what needs to be done.

In the meantime the pollution levels keep rising because the regulations against the polluters have been gutted. The gap between the rich and everyone else continues to widen. The forests and the wilderness areas are being decimated. Our civil rights are eroded daily by laws created to aid politicians who want to be seen as “patriotic.” And the rights of corporations to intrude in the election process, and to milk as much money as they can from people who can ill-afford it, is solidified by congressional decree and ratified by the Supreme Court.

Who is responsible for this? We are. We sat back and watched it happen. We weren’t vociferous enough. We didn’t pass the values we had when we were younger on to our children. In short, we were complacent.

Now the youth of the country are once again rising up and speaking their mind. And they are drawing fire from both sides of the political spectrum.

The media that airs every insipid utterance by Sarah Palin, and will cover a Tea Party rally which numbers only in the hundreds, either ignores, or rails against them.

They are considered anti-American because they are exercising their First Amendment rights (apparently only corporations are allowed to do that.) They are anti-commerce because they want jobs that pay a living wage. They are anti-free market because they want to develop green technology.

I’ve said before that prayers are a form of spells. I pray for these kids to succeed. But I also pray that they don’t give up before they do succeed, and that they don’t become as complacent in their later years as we have. And if they do, I pray that a future generation will arise to act on the behalf of the Earth and her people. And for the rights of those who are set aside in the name of greed.

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