By Casey Melucci
I'd finished my daily grind and had begun my drive the twenty-two miles from North Smithfield to Cranston. As I drive down I-295, I hit the same stagnation I always do, stuck, with no place to go, the mind always seems to wander to more interesting pastures. While contemplating ideas we all have, ideas the most cunning of linguists would have issues articulating, my eyes fell upon the car in front of me. How strongly must this person feel? How righteous they must find their causes to display them to the world in such a manner?
There was the "Coexist", some Ghandism, some Lennon, support for local farmers, and ironically enough; an Anarchy symbol. I let the contradiction slide, and for a brief, fleeting moment I found the romanticism in it. Everybody wants to
identify, everybody wants to be associated with a cause they find to be righteous. I see these people day after day, traveling at the speed of light down highways, leaving trails of vague opinion behind them. And I can't help
but ask myself, "Is this what we've settled for?" A generation of individuals content with expressing their own beliefs in vague phrases on the back of a Toyota Prius.
Where has the passion gone? Where has the willingness to give up things we hold dear for a greater good? Whatever the cause may be, do we possess the same determination, perseverance and grit that our forefathers did? Would we get our hands dirty if need be? Would you lay down your life for a belief? Perhaps it's a pessimistic outlook to have, but I don't believe we would.
The technological revolution, and in particular the evolution of social media has created a docile society where, whether we realize it or not, we've been pacified by the ability to rant and rave on the internet to whoever is willing to listen. The powers that be see it for exactly what it is, and if Karl Marx were alive today he would say to us that no longer is religion the opiate of the masses. Technology and social media have long since taken the reigns, and yet have been just as if not more effective in pacifying the masses than religion ever was.
What in the past would have led to revelations, rebellions and revolutions has been quelled by giving the masses the tools necessary to vent frustration about the system in which they live. It's brilliant. As long as we are talking, we're not doing. No longer are we lighting torches, grabbing pitchforks and muskets when we hear of humanitarian and political wrong-doings. Instead, we sit behind the keyboard of a computer; type something up and feel as though we've saved the world. Where are the men and women of action that this world needs now more than ever? Where are the ones who live the words they speak?
The ones that put a Ghandi quote on their car, because they know in their heart that within them there lies no malice or hatred. The ones who put a "Coexist" sticker on their car because they know full well that they won't look twice at a women wearing a Burka in the grocery store, or who won't cross the street when they see two men of a different ethnicity walking towards them. Anybody can put a sticker on their car, but if you don't live your life in accordance with a belief you're willing to share with the world, and do it simply for the sake of image, well then, you're every bit as paper thin as the sticker that quote was printed on.