Doing Nothing is No Longer an Option

The Cavalry Isn’t Coming

By Terry Baraldi

Raise your hand if you’ve heard this one before:

It won’t make any difference…Nothing I do will change anything…Protests are pointless. Letters, phone calls…all just busy work best left to the fools who believe they count.

So… your answer then is to do nothing? How do you think we got to this in the first place?

Let me ask you this: When was the last time you made any change or improvement to your health, your house, your job or situation, by just sitting still? By just wishing things were different? Or by just assuming that someone else would see to it, and that you’d be okay with whichever way the chips fell? How’d that work out for you? How ’bout now?

Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I want to, and sometimes do, put my head under the pillow. And guess what? When I resurface, it’s either to the same problem, or to find that someone else handled it, and I have to make do with the outcome…because I’ve lost my complaint privileges.

That may be a way to handle making dinner, or painting the living room; but not in how we choose to live our lives, raise our kids, or take part in any society. We either stand up and be counted or lay down and be ignored.

Life after World War II was pretty good – if you were white. And most people had jobs and could afford a house, although not necessarily in the neighborhood they wanted. Women hadn’t yet been told they had a voice. But overall, Middle America was adequately housed, fed and paid just enough to let life roll on…the 20th Century take on Bread and Circus. Fat and complacent. Hell, we lived with Watergate and Vietnam and still didn’t see the need to do much beyond reading the books or watching the movies. Pass the popcorn and keep your head down.

We laughed at any suggestion that we were headed down a rabbit hole. This was AMERICA.

Who knew that no matter how much we were getting, we were giving up so much more. Who the hell knew? They did. The ones who waited ’til we were sufficiently in thrall to a lifestyle that was only on loan. Then they called it in.

So here we are, all with stunned looks as each new insult, each new incursion into our status quo leaves us feeling angry, depressed, and hopeless. But, worst of all, complicit. Because we did nothing. And some days we wish we didn’t care. Some days we want to believe “It’ll be alright again…someday.” And some of us are still looking for someone in charge to “fix this.” It’s a pretty sure bet it won’t be a Congress that’s abdicated every oath of office and its last shred of integrity. Maybe it’ll be the 18-year-old shooting victims, or the women of “me too.”

Well, guess what? The cavalry isn’t coming. We have met the army…and it is us! Doing nothing is no longer an option.

But, you say, “I don’t do nothing. I vote.” Sort of like saying “I helped with dinner…I ate.”