Monthly Archives: July 2017

Stop making excuses

I was having a discussion with some of my kids tonight that turned into something rather more intense than I expected. Now that I’ve had some time to digest it, here’s what really bothered me: a lot of people* have little or no real connection to the causes they champion, yet are also willing to prescribe solutions to the problems they imagine those movements spring from.

It isn’t enough to say that you are in solidarity with a particular movement, nor enough to repeat (or reblog) a cause’s talking points. At the very least you must go and live, work, and play with that group. Simply hearing about it on the Internet or from your friends won’t give you anything resembling the full picture. This will take time. It will mean listening and building relationships with people. To put it bluntly, it will take dedication and a level of perseverance that will be uncomfortable.

If you aren’t willing to do this you’re giving little more than lip service to your chosen cause. This is no more effective than signing an online petition, telling the homeless person “I hope you find shelter tonight,” or a starving child “I’ll pray that you get a good meal.” These things do not make a difference. You’re just making yourself feel better about the fact that you can’t help because you are too young or too old, or have no time, no money, no car, a family to take care of, a job that’s too demanding, a fear of dealing with real people, a mental illness, or any other thing you’ve used to excuse yourself.

It’s time to stop blaming other people for not solving the problems of this world. If you won’t get involved in spite of all the good reasons you have for your inaction, then why should anyone else?

*This statement is not limited to any particular generation, or for that matter any other group.