So often in this topsy-turvy world full of loud opinions and so much harshness, it is easy for some more sensitive souls to feel locked out of the world; to feel at effect rather than at cause of what is happening in our lives. I know for me when I read of horrendous and frightening events around the world, there is one option available to me and that is to retreat behind my closed door and believe in my inability to do anything about the big wide world. Other options of course are there, but don’t seem half way as accessible or even attractive because they mean some self reflection and question asking and courage taking.
I ache to feel impactful on my life and on the lives of others. How do I access that in this world of seemingly no-personal-power? I believe that the democracy that operates currently in Australia, and other nations is set up to disempower the people. We get a bite at the cherry every 4 years and after that we have to put up with what decisions are made by a person that we might not have even wanted to be making those decisions in the first place. Diarmuid O’Murchu, a theologist, says that the right to vote is a token gesture to keep people subdued...citizens are passive onlookers. I often feel that, absolutely.
Thank goodness for the 21st century. For the social media, for the cyber networks, for GetUp for Wikileaks. I think what everyone will agree that the politics of the world is changing and there are options now for us, for our views to be heard...above and beyond the wheels of the democratic society. I watch and participate with wonder and awe at petitions that receive signatures in the 100 of thousands and actually get the ‘powers’ to listen and act. I now have a platform that I know one voice can make a difference when that one voice gets others to back them, and the others are accessible and willing.
Naomi Goldberg said in 1979: Being a loyal, docile member of a single tribal group does not offer salvation any longer, if ever it did. Now the world is in need of people who can feel several loyalties, several affinities, several identities. Its taken years, but this to me is a key statement of where we are possibly heading as a society. We are now able to be members of many groups, can choose to engage in discussions on line and feel ok about having our opinions and our motives questioned and our mind changed. We are now not – necessarily – if we are able to separate enough from the democracy that binds us – at the will of the economic forces of capitalism that we have previously defined ourselves by.
It is time to push the gate and realise it is unlocked and all we need to do is walk out. TOGETHER!
Numbers do matter!