In Brief— A challenge and an invitation to step outside your comfort zone to make the country and the world a better place for all.
Passivity is the Little Death—
We are being lulled into passivity. With the exception of a few of my readers who take an active part in bettering democracy and the world, most of us are too damned passive. We may sign petitions for worthy causes, but though that is better than sitting on our duffs and doing nothing, that’s not enough.
Some of my readers, though senior citizens, attend community meetings, call the White House to register their views and even travel to distant continents to assist the local citizenry in helping themselves in a variety of ways. That is genuinely laudable and is the kind of activism we need more of, no matter our ages.
By contrast, most of us vote and sign online petitions; a few of us contribute money to causes or organizations we believe in; we are all concerned about the state of affairs, particularly the political affairs that are destroying our democracy at the state and national levels. We are concerned about the exploitation and pollution of our planet. All this is good, but it’s not enough.
We all have excuses for our relative passivity. Partially disabled, I live in a foreign country and spend my time flailing electronically at what I see as unjust. Others say they are too old and tired to be an activist. Still others would rather garden or babysit the grandkids. We all have our reasons for not taking part in actively correcting the wrongs that plague our world. While these are good excuses, they are not enough.
Years ago, I complained to a friend that I felt I shouldn’t take a certain action that would mean stepping outside my comfort zone. His reply was, “So what, they can’t kill you and eat you.” He was right then and his point is just as valid to today. If we extend ourselves more than we are now doing, those who may object can’t do more than object.
Actions Worth Taking—
What can you do to leave the world a better place than what you are doing right now? Some possibilities are:
- Volunteer even one day per week to serve food to the homeless at a soup kitchen.
- Be a poll worker or volunteer to register voters.
- Walk a picket line or write a letter to the CEO at Sea World to let visitors and the corporation know that those dolphins and orcas that are held captive in little tanks belong in the ocean, not on display for corporate profit. You would be acting to end appalling outrages like the Taiji, Japan, dolphin slaughter and captures documented in The Cove.
If you want to learn more about these outrages and the need for action, read the Science Agenda in the March 2014 edition of Scientific American, “Free Willy—And All His Pals” (to read the piece, click on the preceding highlighted area) as well as my blog piece, “The Animal Kingdom Challenges Humans” that can be found in the January 2014 Archives.
- Become active in the anti-fracking movement that seeks to preserve our planet from even greater damage than the energy industry has already inflicted. Water is more important to life than oil.
- Volunteer at an animal shelter.
- Become a Big Sister or Big Brother to some poor kid who needs guidance toward a productive adulthood.
- Volunteer at a hospice.
These are just a few of the many activities you might engage in to make the world a better place. After all, they can’t kill you and eat you.