Thursday, December 13, 2012

Obstacles to Overcome

Before any revolution can take place, or for any truly democratic society to really exist for that matter, there are some major obstacles to be aware of. While my liberty values suggest that everyone has the right to be apathetic, a cynic or a propagator of misinformation and disinformation should they wish, I personally see these as negative aspects of our society. There are other people out there who believe that these aspects are manufactured obstacles used to keep society within the confines of a predetermined existence with rules set for us without public involvement. Regardless of where these negative obstacles come from however, they must be dealt with, or at least discussed so that we are all aware of their existence and their potential side affects.


Apathy

There is no doubt that in today's society there is a lack of interest, enthusiasm, and concern towards all things political and related. The indifference within the large majority of citizens is readily apparent to most anyone who takes a moment to look. Pathetically low voter turnout, for instance, may be the best and clearest example to prove this point, but certainly not the only one. Political discourse at all is basically non existent in most peoples lives, as even simple day to day discussions outside the realm of entertainment, sports or fashion is quite difficult to come by. Whether distractions and/or encouraged lack of interest is by design from people in power who count on apathy to continually set their own agenda, I don't know. What I do know is that this lack of concern with all things political and social is detrimental to social progress, not only for Newfoundland and Labrador but for all citizens everywhere. Well, for those who wish to live in a democratic existence anyway. It is only with an involved and informed citizenry can any democratic society work, after all. Without an engaged populous, enthusiastic about how they are being governed, society is merely just following along like sheep, and most people aren't even concerned enough to realise that. Fighting apathy and getting people involved in the process is a huge feat to achieve no doubt, but a critical one. I'm unsure how we can beat it altogether, but my personal tactic is to continuously engage those around me with questions or observations social and political in nature. Simple conversation can indeed be one step towards beating apathy, because you never know what words you use will inspire someone else into taking an interest.

Cynicism

Defined as 'An attitude of scornful or jaded negativity', Cynicism is another major hurdle to overcome, and it perhaps goes hand in hand with apathy. People who generally lack concern for political or social issues will be drenched in negativity towards to system which govern those issues. The converse is applicable as well; Those who have an overwhelming jaded mentality will lose interest in what it is they feel jaded by. Regardless of the similarities however, people need to regain their sense of power within a democracy, which everyone knows is a government by The People, for The People. The key word here is 'People'. We The People form the government through voting and we The People are responsible for those choices. We The People also, most importantly, have the power to change anything and everything we desire to. The People have all the power in this relationship and those cynical ones out there should really open their minds and realize this fact. One only has to look at the Icelandic Revolution of 2012 to see what can happen when people aren't scornful and jaded enough to believe nothing can be changed. Change is always obtainable. It absolutely is. One just has to be positive that it can, and ever determined to make it work.

Non Information, Misinformation and Disinformation

While this topic is somewhat removed from the items above, those being issues for people themselves to overcome and this being one the people need be aware of, it is indeed an obstacle for humanity. Furthermore, one could theorize that these issues surrounding information help cause apathy and cynicism within a populous. Regardless of that, knowledge is indeed a key aspect to a healthy society and I personally am a strong believer in the 'Knowledge is Power' mantra. The more one has, the better off one is. That being said, I am also aware that how information is presented could be potentially dangerous should you not be open to the possibility that the presentation itself is part of the information being presented. Often times in today's world, inaccurate information is perpetuated in order to deceive those receiving it. In addition to this, absolutely false information intended to mislead is often propagated as well. This disinformation is often released by one group directly to the opposing group's rival media or communications team. In the game of politics, both these tactics are often used and I'm sure this is no surprise to anyone... and this is without even mentioning the secrecy and lack of access to information we have, even in today's digital world. With all that said, my suggestion to anyone concerned about information at all is to absolutely absorb everything you can while creating your own ideals based on total information absorbed. Do not let how information is labelled fool you into accepting it or not. Set your own thresholds on reality and critically think through for yourself every piece of information you come across. Then, if you don't have the necessary information you need to formulate an opinion after everything is absorbed, ask for it, demand it if need be. Information is indeed power ,so I suggest not letting anyone else decide what is real and what is not. That is for any individual to determine for themselves.


While these three items are no where near the total number of obstacles we face in improving society, they are major ones. I personally tend to think that understanding and eventually overcoming these three major items will do wonders to help pave the way to a better world.

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