As hostility and turmoil reach a seemingly rolling high, justification and pandering of un-civiliness manifests itself in many ways.
For somebody to preach understanding, finding common ground, and acceptance – only to end up attempting to distance themselves from heated issues for fear of stepping on eggshells, yields incomprehensible mental gymnastics that (often times) end up being an antipode of their supposed beliefs.
My policy on politics and hot-buttoned issues was, for the longest time, one I thought was somewhat reasonable: “Know enough to stay informed, but don’t get involved so much that it consumes every part of your life.”
I still think this is a partially decent view to have, as not everybody’s life revolves around gathering for the news at 9, and thankfully so.
However, I will say overtime that tuning my ear more finitely to the problems facing the world we all live in is something I’ve learned to accept and look at with purpose for a multitude of reasons; and these issues can no longer be confined to just “politics.”
To be unapologetically blunt, escapism is a very widespread and common state of being facing a great amount of people in this world. I’m guilty of this firsthand, not a doubt in my mind at all. We all have problems we come across on a daily basis, and while some are more pressing than others, they all affect our mentality and perception of the world we live in. Escapism in itself isn’t the root of the issue – I’ll go so far as to say that escapism, in some forms, is beneficial towards us maintaining our sanity.
However though, I feel as if many of us are too familiar and comfortable with our routine of getting home from work and locking ourselves in our bedrooms, turning on our favourite music and television shows, and zoning out the things that bother us.
We tend to be creatures of comfort, and things that make us uncomfortable are oftentimes shoved into a dark corner in the back of our mind, while we try to squeeze out whatever small amount of pleasure we can get from our otherwise draining (and sometimes demoralizing) daily lives.
What we forget far too often is that these issues still exist, and often multiply and fester. Sometimes we realize this, and ignorantly press forward, thinking we can outrun whatever is influencing our negativity. This is far from the case.
Anybody who’s faced adversity in their life knows that problems, if left unaddressed, only grow larger and more intrusive.
We live in challenging times, but the history of the world shows us that present day is always a “challenging time,” and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Being overwhelmed and feeling numb is commonplace for most people who see and experience the negativity of the world on a consistent basis.
Eventually, we go into a sort of survival mode for our emotions where we attempt to drown it all out. This is where my problem with escapism takes root. It’s okay to feel numb, and it’s understandable to not want to face every obstacle head-on as soon as it reveals itself to you.
However, if this becomes a habit or ritual, it can have consequences of complacency. We start to shrug off things we should care about, and we feel apathetic about getting involved with matters that are actually beneficial to us and our growth. Being complacent and not wanting to tackle challenges helps us in no part. The ability to emphasize with those around you should not go un-noted, or under-appreciated.
Not only does empathy help you relate to those around you, but it brings forward a catalyst that allows understanding and commonality to be cherished and shared.
Relating to others, and being able to cherish their triumphs while simultaneously sharing their burdens is liberation of the most sincere form.
To do this – I state stop the complacency. The concern of alienating others who have marginal disagreements with you is valid, but if we stay stuck in our old ways and are fearful to do the right and true thing; we may very well be silently encouraging the actions and associations of those we should readily be prepared to fervently and zealously denounce.
There’s a fine line between being apologetic and compassionate towards those in circumstances you cannot personally relate to, and turning our backs out of concern for backlash while allowing wrongful things to continue.
Since when did it become political to simply do the correct thing?
Current events (whether we wish so or not), greatly affect our chamber of living – and far beyond that. Doing the right thing, even if it is the epitome of doing the hardest thing (especially in a time where common courtesy and decorum is rapidly deteriorating in front of our own eyes), should never be a politically charged or tied action – rather it should be one out of basic human decency and the necessity of preserving undiscriminating love.
We should give serious thoughts and consideration to the perils and fights of others, but we should also ensure that our morals are kept truthful and earnest in doing so.
While the right to maintain free speech is a defining cornerstone of our democracy, acts of aggression and terror have no place in a civilized society – and we should fight to condemn them when and where they occur to the fullest extent of our abilities. Escapism and complacency are only viable until the problems facing your world surround, and eventually consume you: and trust me, if we continue to do so, they undoubtedly will reach a point where we can no longer turn from them.
The willingness to discuss our differences is an unmistakably admirable, but the readiness to dispel and combat hateful vengeance and violent extremism will go further in the long run. Frankly, we owe it to ourselves and our society to do the proper thing, even if the cost of doing so means withstanding turbulent resentment and retaliation.