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Complacency - The Eighth Deadly Sin?

Raspberry Kool-Aid. "So what," you might ask? Well, my personal loss of a favourite flavour of drink mix is merely a symbol of the countless changes and cut-backs imposed upon us in today's world of mergers and mega corporations, from foods, to manufacturing, to banking, to our governments. As we the consumers, employees and citizens work harder and harder for less and less money, these institutions make changes that benefit the stock-holders first and the rest of us last.

Whether it's the loss of a beloved food product because it has dipped below some magically divined quota, or our media being controlled by a few select billion dollar merger-happy corporations, our options are being narrowed on daily basis. Our governments cut services left and right and then legislate tidy pay increases and pensions for themselves, and still we watch our televisions in an apoplectic glaze, grumbling and muttering to ourselves but failing to take action because it all seems so hopeless. Then we sit back in amazed horror when people who finally have had enough explode and commit heinous acts of violence to retaliate against the unseen forces that surround them.

Those who do actually get up off of their couches to take action and protest are turning more and more to violence as a means of expression to over-compensate for everyone's else's apathetic malaise. But because of its destrutive nature no one pays attention to the actual message, so it's really just as fruitless as having done nothing, except that they've gotten their personal kicks in the process. The message is getting lost in the medium.

Somehow we must find balance once again. When one finds something disagreeable, do something. Call, write or email the proper authorities on the matter. Do it in an articulate and reasonable manner. Encourage others of a like mind to do the same. Boycott companies that engage in questionable practices. If a law-suit is required, then do so, but don't instigate yet another frivolous law-suit, for heaven's sake! That is also counter-productive. Often it is a circuitous route to find the proper channels, but don't get frustrated. Don't be off-put by emotionless form replies from bureaucratic androids. Make the effort!

In the same respect, when one comes across something wonderful, let them know that it's appreciated! Help it to remain a great thing!

After all of that, perhaps nothing will have come out of the efforts, but at least there is the satisfaction of having made the attempt. As the American Dream grows more and more powerful for a select few, the newfound sameness of our landscape is beginning to look a lot like that other ideal which Americans fight so hard against, blacklists and all. It will continue to do so - only if we allow it.