Sometimes in the rat race/maze of life, we get so busy running we don’t have time to see where we are going or to make sure our planned destination is really where we want to end up. We think we have to do this or that, get from one week to the next, make the money to pay the bills, that we don’t make time to step back and see the bigger picture. If we do not prepare for a different future by first envisioning it in our mind’s eye, and then actively pursuing it, such a future will never come to pass. We are in the habit of doing certain things and we set ourselves on automatic much of the time to work, clean, fix food, etc, and when we ask ourselves what we want to do, the first answer we hear is to relax or do something fun. Once we have fulfilled that need it is once again time to get back to the daily grind. Few of us find time to go beyond these immediate needs for rest and relaxation to find what is at the core. We often don’t dare, for fear. Fear that we may find we are woefully unhappy in our present situation and we have been burying it. Fear we will discover a burning desire we feel we cannot address. Fear we will be confronted with our conscious that will bring our hypocrisy out into the light for us to face head-on. Our need to bury these fears keep us running in the rat race.
Sometimes it feels like our society, and politicians, in particular, rely on our need to keep running. This way, business can continue as usual with no one trying to fix corruption or make things “better”. Dangerous pipelines can continue to be built under waterways that supply fresh water to millions, large corporations can keep polluting and earning big profits, and politicians accept money for favors from wealthy donors and we are none the wiser. We are all far too busy worrying about our own lives and how to keep food on the table for our families to be concerned with how our businesses and our government is being run.
This is especially true when wages are kept so low that few families have reserves that allow them to go without an income for any significant period of time. We cannot afford to go to Washington to protest, or to South Dakota, or to even take a day off to go to the state capital to voice our opinion. The majority of us express our opinions in social media polls and petitions, by sharing memes and offering 144-character op-eds to our friends and families. This is hardly the extent of political participation most citizens hope for when our children and grandchildren’s lives are very much at stake.