Do you think it is possible to die from complacency? Do you think our dreams and desires can just wither up and blow away in the wind? Do you believe that each person has a purpose? That every one of us is unique by design and has some sort of special function in society? A divine reason to be? Or do we just exist, be born, work, pay bills, get old, die?
I am starting to believe that complacency is the rot that slowly eats away at the soul leaving us to wander as metaphorical zombies through life. I think it consumes our moral fibre, it kills hope, desire, morale, incentive… causes us to just give up, and leaves behind a resounding cry of “meh, good enough.”
You know the catch phrases: “It’s the way it is and the way it’s always been.” “Get with the program.” “Your dreams won’t pay the bills or put food on your plate.” “Grow up and get your head out of the clouds.” “Just work harder and you’ll eventually catch your break.” blah, blah, blah the voices of the disenfranchised. (I gave up on my dreams now it’s your turn…)
As a society we seem to suffer from a severe case of settling. It’s easier to conform to the routine of life than to take the plunge and do what we were meant to do; LIVE! Fear holds back the masses. “But this is how it’s supposed to be, right?” but if this is how it’s meant to be then why, oh why are we all so unhappy, so blah, going through the motions eagerly pleading for our days off to arrive quickly, yet never feeling like they are enough? Working at jobs that we find mediocre at best just to barely pay the bills, never having that extra bit that we swear we will start setting aside next payday, every payday, so that one day we can do whatever that dream of ours is… buy a boat, go on vacation, get the tools or art supplies or technology to make it a reality.
This morning on the way to work I was listening to the radio, I discovered that minimum wage is going up again: $0.40 an hour, come this September. I’m not sure that is going to make a huge difference to people trying to survive on it but it’s a step in the right direction. Anyways the announcers went on to say that according to recent studies in order for people to survive above the “poverty line” in the area I live minimum wage would need to be $17.10 per hour. That is more than I currently make an hour and is $6.85 more than the current minimum wage. No wonder so many people seem to have given up. No wonder complacency has enveloped the masses. We are tired of fighting a losing battle. An invisible war between the haves and the have-nots. And I am not just talking about people here, those who have and those who have-not, but rather dreams, I’m referencing the war of have and have-not for our dreams.
The sacrifices we have made, most likely not even on a conscious level, in order to survive (barely) in a society that promises to provide and give in abundance if we would just work a little harder, give a little more, yet in the end it only seems to take and continues to demand more! more! more! until there is nothing left. Nothing but an empty husk that was once ripe and full of dreams and now is barren and withered like an old woman’s womb.
I seem to cycle through my complacency. It hits in waves. A wave crashes down and I feel so overwhelmed by it I cannot fathom moving forward. Then it recedes and I feel the sun’s warmth, I see it’s brilliance and I am filled with hope. I struggle to upright myself, to make my way across the beach, just as another wave crashes down on me. But I will not give up. Even if I have to crawl across the beach, enduring the pummeling waves. I will make it, I can see the line where the waves give way and cannot reach… I will make it. How about you?