I’m bouncing back from a pretty discouraging week of work. Something that activism has taught me is that most people genuinely aren’t educated when it comes to politics and laws. I don’t say that harshly or condescendingly, they’re just ignorant of how policies affect them. I’ll caveat that with stating that the most popular news sources that are relied upon for this information are not helpful to that effect. One must be purposeful in learning how economic policies work and how they interact with the public.
That said, I’ll share one of my biggest frustrations:
One of the most irksome things I hear is “that doesn’t affect me, I’m on Medicare and Social Security and Medicaid, so everything is taken care of…”
Such a statement is bothersome for many reasons, one being that the majority of the elderly folks I encounter don’t know that the Affordable Care Act does indeed affect them. The second and most shocking to me is justifying complacency because something “doesn’t effect” them. If you saw a person getting robbed at gunpoint you’d do everything you could to help them. Well, someone else getting robbed doesn’t affect you but you’d at least call the police, right? People don’t like injustice, even on behalf of another individual.
Now what if the person doing the robbing said to you “I’m going to rob this person and give you some of the loot for keeping quiet.” This would make you an accessory to crime in a court of law, would it not?
Do you see where I’m going with this? The government steals money from some, and gives it to others. Many feel justified in this Robin Hood scheme because of an entitlement complex that tells them the wealthy “don’t pay their fair share” or worse yet hold the belief that it’s not wrong because it is legal. Now the conversation of legal vs. ethical vs. moral vs. just vs. unjust is an entirely separate and huge conversation that no one would ever want to read on a blog, but I will say this; legality does not beget justice. With that idea then, even if I have paid my dues and have everything in my life taken care of and nothing the government does affects me, if what the government does hurts someone else I should do something, right? Would my silence not make me a passive participant in crime against another?
We cannot continue to sit idly as the futures of so many are robbed. Here in the south we commonly say “leave something better than how you found it.” Whether it’s a grocery store aisle, a camp site, or your friend’s kitchen, we work to make things better for people because how we spend our time is a reflection of our character. This mess happened on our watch, it’s high time we do all we can to fix it for those that will inherit it.
If you’d like to know specific things you can do to help or would like some educational resources send me a message, I’d be overjoyed to talk with you.