It’s 4:30 AM and in 3 hours I will be walking out the door to catch the bus down town to my job. I love my job. It pays the bills. I work in an industry that I love and can stand behind with good moral conscience knowing that I am doing some good by contributing my skills. I love my family. I am proud that I can provide for them adequately and we are able to live quite comfortably even if we are not worry free. My quality of life is good and I consider myself immensely fortunate.
I awoke not long ago before I started writing this. I got up to use the bathroom which is pretty typical only this time I did not fall back asleep. Instead I lay in my bed facing the dark wall and considered all of the things that had gone wrong the day before. Is that not the time for such things? It is the time there is truly enough silence in the world around me to contemplate my purpose and take stock of my personal fears. Where had the world gone wrong? Something happened yesterday that gave me pause and made me think that I should reconsider how I interact with the world around me.
Those who know me have no doubt had to suffer through my online soapbox ranting at some point. I spend a lot of my time online reading articles and opinions to help me paint a broader picture of what’s going on in the world. Usually I try to share my findings with friends and family. I’m pretty sure most of them gloss over when I post my walls of text as I rail, dumbfounded at how they cannot possibly be outraged by the realities in which we live. I find it exponentially frustrating knowing that left to fate, things can only grow more dire and those who approach facts with apathy will soon find themselves bound by chains they cannot escape. I cannot do the same. Anxiety will destroy my body long before then.
I read an article yesterday regarding the recent government take down of the Lavabit email service. I urge people to familiarize themselves with this case as I expect there will be a lot more of this following the recent revelations regarding pervasive domestic surveillance. This news outraged me almost to the point of frothing and why shouldn’t it? We are seeing the dawn of a new era in the U.S. Where secret laws and shadow courts are becoming accepted and fascism is emerging into the open. What once made our nation a shining beacon of the ages is now a forgotten dream and a darkness rushes in to fill the void. I commented on the aforementioned article in an on line community that I participate in and was met with such extreme pathological apathy about my own outrage I felt as though the wind had been knocked from me. I was called a fearless armchair hero. It was pretty clear to me that this person was a troll but I couldn’t ignore an element of truth to the comment. To be fair to myself I don’t consider my political commentary to be simple blustering. I share information with the specific purpose in mind of educating my peers so that they can make more informed decisions. Clearly the media outlets have faltered in their responsibilities so it falls on private citizens to root out information between the rampant propoganda and make the truth known. I don’t consider myself to be of the tin hat variety either because as they say you’re not crazy if the sky really is falling. My purpose is to influence the outcome by starting a ripple. Perhaps that is not enough. I feel like my words fall on deaf ears any way so maybe the troll had something valuable to share.
So I laid awake in the middle of the night with no hope of returning to my unsettling dreams and I considered my options. I imagined what Abraham Lincoln would say if he saw what we had done to our government. Would he rub his hands together in envy wishing that he had tasted of the unchecked power that our politicians now abuse? Or would his heart sink in pure disappointment that we had taken something that he had cherished and worked so hard to preserve and tossed it aside like an old shoe that was no longer in style. Would Thomas Jefferson share my immense disappointment that we had fallen prey to the very things he warned us about in his writings? Over two hundred years later the monarchs are having their revenge. Did they know that we would eventually collapse back into the old system that we fought so desparately to separate ourselves from? Have they been biding their time all these centuries?
I consider my options and contemplate my weapons. I grew up observing that the pen is indeed a mightier weapon than the sword. How do I use this in a world where both are used to obtain a desired outcome? I feel a growing pressure to use both myself but I also feel as if I now stand at a precipice. I know what awaits us at the bottom of that precipice. It’s a misery most of us have never experienced. There has to be a better way. I appeal to man’s enlightened ideals that there simply must be a better way to step back from this damned precipice.