Apathy

With all of the election events happening (congratulations, by the way, to those lucky candidates selected to have another student government activity to list on their resume), I’ve been considering what my stance should be politically. Am I a liberal with conservative moral tendencies, or am I a conservative corrupted by the perversion of a progressive society? The election committee is still out on that one, but from this angle, it really seems that I’m just a college student worried about how I’m going to come up with $1.56 for a gallon of gas or how I plan to get myself out of bed for my 9:00 a.m. classes. I suppose that my cynicism has moved me to apathy in recent years, as I can’t quite figure out why the same people who would take our guns would have us kill our babies, or why those who would prevent us from putting an end to an unwanted pregnancy would have us leave our guns around so that the children can kill each other and themselves. It reminds me of people who tell me that we should be able to do anything with our bodies, such as discard them when we are tired of the suffering that is life, but are appalled by the idea that some women choose to sell the eggs their bodies produce. Or people who call for the treatment of all with dignity and respect, but stop short of those who might want to better their lives by migrating to our country to benefit from the prospering economy. Or people who verbally abuse those with different values, in the name of “peace,” and wage ideological wars on those who view the world differently. A slogan comes to mind: “Think globally, act locally.” Lately, I have maybe been taking that a little too much to heart. I have narrowed my field of exerted energy to no further than three feet around myself at any given time. I have the benefit (or handicap) of judging myself by intentions and others by their actions. Voting may be a form of empowerment, but I am likely to have a lot more control over the world around me if I focus my energy on my own attitude and actions. I identify well with a song written in the seventies that refrains: “I’d love to change the world, but I don’t know what to do, so I leave it up to you.” I live in a time of not knowing what to want or how to get it. I will grow and learn, and I will discover those things. I may not remain apathetic forever, but I don’t think that I’ll reach the point by November where I’m comfortable saying that I have any idea of how things should be done. Maybe I will know, by then, how I plan to get that $1.56. Of course, the gas prices will have gone up.

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