From sofa to soapbox
In the line of editor duty, I attend a plethora of events and meetings. I read a veritable cornucopia of letters and articles, follow the news of the region, province, and country, as well as the world around us in general.
I talk to people everywhere I go. Sometimes we have simple ‘shoot the breeze’ conversations, about how we came to the area, what our dog’s favourite toys are, and other largely bland aspects of our day to day lives. But sometimes I run into the impassioned citizen.
The one who has a real issue or contention with the government of the town, or the county, or the province. We discuss what has been happening, from infrastructure renewal on their own street in town, to provincial funding that has been rolled out for any number of causes. Some are full of hope for the future, some are cavalier, some are despondent and critical.
I have met, and spoken with, the full gamut.
I doubt that there is any person over the age of 16 that doesn’t have an opinion, positive or negative, on at least one aspect of what our government is doing. And often, we all have to admit, our remarks come in the form of complaints. It’s human nature to point out that which irritates or offends us long before we offer up kudos to that with which we approve. And there is nothing wrong with holding a conviction-whichever side of an issue you fall on.
The world has been put to rights on several occasions in my very living room, with the dogs looking on, silently applauding my magnificent skills as an orator and problem solver.
And I know I’m not alone.
But I also recently, while at one of the aforementioned meetings, heard the population, in general, described as ‘apathetic’, and although my initial response was one of righteous indignation (had no one realized I had a completely written, but not published in any way, manifesto on the state of the world, carefully scribed in my head?)
And the truth is, that, on the whole, we are. There is an assumption that when a cause comes up that someone will surely pick up the gauntlet, and we will support them from our armchairs.
And that’s a wonderful dream, but the truth is that if we want to see change in our worlds, be it our job to the state of our healthcare system, we need to stand up, leave the living room, and engage in a public forum of some description, and make that change.
Don’t like how a party is representing you? Vote. Or better yet, get involved. Be active in local groups, follow the news, read about platforms and budgets. The only way we will see the changes that we pronounce to the family cat is if we actively put our actions where our speeches are, and get involved.
If you want the change, then be the action.