Social Commentary

Getting Out

Tomato Cages
Tomato Cages

LAKE MACBRIDE— The last eight weeks have been a retreat from my recent life in society. Eschewing standing relationships, wrapped in a cocoon, endeavoring to earn money for the tax man, insurance companies and lenders, the universe of human contact has been reduced to a very small circle of family, close friends and work. I got out yesterday to attend a political meeting. It was a mixed bag.

On the positive side, I spent time with like-minded people I have known for a while, engaging in ideas and strengthening relationships. On the downer side, there is a lot of work to do to make social progress, and the voices heard often are the loudest, regardless of the efficacy of their arguments. My take-away was an unsettling feeling of cultural dissonance.

The droning of talking points— the would be muezzin called for prayer from a seat in the back of the room. Her schedule followed no holy book, her themes were less than holy— the whims and fancies of enthusiasms founded in self-identified diatribes. She leveraged the event to support her secular devotions. Absent another voice, it’s all those gathered would hear. We have to be an alternative voice to the vapid droning.

It cannot be that social progress can be made only by the affluent class, people that earn more than a living wage. But it takes an economic platform to be active in society— source of finance, a safety net. It is beyond the means of most people. Many struggle to achieve such a platform their entire lives, wrapped in a social cocoon, getting by as best they can.

We each feel a sense of dignity and worth that comes from our indigent circumstances. We live in a society that would suppress our native instincts and bend our will to meet the economic, social and political needs of others. We must resist with all of our strength, remaining true to ourselves.

There is a personal responsibility to contribute to social progress, and it is hard to do under any circumstances. After examining yesterday’s events, my conclusion is that I have to get out more.