I was talking with a friend of mine after writing my last blog post. We talked about the presidential race, the current economic crisis, and the banks in Iceland, among a smattering of other popular topics of current interest. My friend, when presented with a verbal painting of potentially impending doom, responded “Does it really matter?” I think this speaks truthfully to the apathy partially responsible for our current plight.
Presidents come and go. Political and economic policy sails in and out and the majority of people are none the wiser. “Yeah, that was a bad policy or a bad time, but we’ll come through it, everything will be ok.” Now I’m not proferring that the end of the world is currently rolling up our driveways, but I have to take a stance of “Yes, it does fucking matter! It affects billions of people on a daily basis.” It makes me wonder if the last twenty years have been altogether too shielded from harm. We’ve never truly seen consequences for our actions or for our apathy.
Most people look at global warming with an “oh yeah, is that still going on?” sort of attitude. The economic crisis is “scary” and everyone “knows someone” who is having problems with their mortgage payments or retirement plans. However, the overarching response I seem to get from people on these topics is a look of general boredom and an expression similar to the vocalized phrase of my friend: “Does it really matter?”
Well, to the people in Iceland right now: it matters.
To the people in California leaving everything in their homes for a “trash out” team to throw into a dumpster: it matters.
More subtly, for all of us who might suffer under another ignorant and uneducated administration: it matters.
I am sick to death with the apathy, opinions of entitlement, and complete lack of self-responsibility that I have observed over the last decade. The world does not revolve on a wheel made of gold. Sooner or later, no matter how many government bailouts and social blinders we employ, the consequences of our apathy and greed are going to affect us all. The worst part of it all is that most people agree on a foolproof method for determining when it matters:
as soon as it starts affecting you.