A Citizen’s Guide to Greece 2015


July 18, 2013

Sinking in our own shit

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Written by: DW

By David Wisner

Here is something I had been thinking a lot about before it happened.

We all want action to be taken to avert or resolve a crisis. We all want to believe that we can contribute our small part in the effort to clean up the mess we ourselves may be partly responsible for creating. And then we think, “Grow up, this is bs.” Nothing is going to change, nothing is going to improve.

It was a bit of news last week on political gamesmanship in Athens that was the tipping point for me personally. “Screw these guys,” I caught myself saying, “let them sink in their own shit.”

Have we been in denial? Has some obscure force been at work to counteract our best efforts? Is it the fault of some element of society that simply does not want change to take place?

Or is it that we ourselves prefer staying where we are to going to where we might otherwise be?

There are plenty of reasons for citizens around the world to come to a moment like this. And I am not talking only about Syria and Egypt, Turkey and Brazil. Why not also include Greece, or the US?

Some wag posted a photo on Facebook some days back a composite photo of random crowds in Egypt, Brazil, Turkey, and Greece on a given Sunday in July. In three of the scenes the crowd was protesting. In the fourth, guess where, the crowd was at the beach.

What I drew from this photo, after some consideration, was that protest or not, the odds seem stacked against the likelihood of change. Should we be fatalists and go off to the beach instead? Should we give in and sink in our own muck?

I remember reading an oped piece in an American newspaper in 2008, an election year. “You don’t want to vote? Don’t,” was the journalist’s message. There is no compelling argument to make to a person who simply does not wish to vote.

The times being what they are, can we afford to make the same argument about involving oneself in constructive civic action, however big or small?


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