AWARENESS IS USELESS WITHOUT ACTION
Sometimes, I wish I could just live the simple life again. Being ignorant, naïve, and content with the way this world works. Caring not, wanting not. Knowing that all my needs were taken care of, and that was good enough for me. Sigh.
I look out my window and see the trees shaking ferociously in the wind, the bright pink flowers along my fence flailing about, the dark grey storm clouds rolling in. I can hear the whistle of the wind underneath my cozy house, the sound of motorists screeching to an unexpected halt a couple of backyards away (probably the neighbour’s cat), and the occasional “clock” of a golfer enjoying his mid-morning tee-off. The noise prompts me to head to the kitchen to fetch my own mid-morning tea. From here, I watch the golfers meticulously place their ball in the desired position, line themselves up and deliver their powerful swing. Then I hear them yelling and swearing when their swing doesn’t go to plan. I like that they don’t know I’m watching them.
But just like the golfer’s swing, sometimes my life doesn’t go to plan. Sometimes I’d like to yell and swear about it too, but there’s always a chance there’s some creepy person watching me. Through the window I can see my dog chewing on a golf ball. Good dog.
So, living the simple life? That would involve heading back to the lounge with my tea, putting my feet up and indulging in a movie whilst my two-year old toddler takes a well-earned nap. Sounds good right? But I don’t do it. Sure, I head back to the lounge and plonk myself down on it, I curl my feet up under the blanket and I definitely sip my tea. But instead of watching a movie, I’m on my laptop, obsessively researching my newfound passion. “Why?” I hear you ask in utter anticipation. Well, I’ve recently crashed into some troubling information that has totally changed my outlook on life. I ‘stumbled’ across it at first, but back then I got up and walked away like nothing had happened. I didn’t particularly want to know about it. Nobody ever does, really. If I ignored it, would it go away? My son seems to believe this theory. He sometimes tries to hide behind a pole when I’m calling him. He stands behind the pole so that only his midline is hidden from view; the rest is out in the open for everyone to see. His eyes are shielded to prevent him from seeing me. And he seems to think that if he can’t see me, I can’t see him, and maybe I’ll just give up and go away. Well that’s how I felt. I was disturbed by this revelation, but I figured (somewhere, in the back of my brain… perhaps the part I don’t use very often) that if I hid from it, it might go away, maybe it would resolve itself. Maybe it’d move on and go and bother someone else. But just as I don’t ‘go away’ when my son is hiding from me, this unsettling reality didn’t go away either.
So eventually I fell, but this time I didn’t get up and walk away. I began scrambling around and searching for the truth. Every time I tried to look away and pretend it wasn’t there, I’d be pulled back in. My eyes were opened a little more each time. Sometimes my jaw hit the floor with what I was reading. My heart was ripped open, my mind boggled. I was crying on the inside and crying on the outside. I wanted to scream at people, “Don’t you know what’s happening?! How can you be so complacent about this?” I wondered why so far, nobody had screamed this at me. Surely this, if anything, is worth yelling and swearing about. Because it’s not good enough to just ‘know’ about it. Nothing will change if we all just sit around ‘knowing’ stuff. We have to be bothered by it. It has to actually bother us. I am bothered by it, and I am hoping to bother you about it.
So my life hasn’t gone to plan, because I am no longer content to just live the simple life. Oh I wish I could, I wish that these things weren’t true and that I wouldn’t have to bother with them. But they are true, and I will bother. Like the whereabouts of my son, some things are just worth bothering about.
“And in the air the fireflies
Our only light in paradise
We’ll show the world they were wrong
And teach them all to sing along
If everyone cared and nobody cried
If everyone loved and nobody lied
If everyone shared and swallowed their pride
Then we’d see the day when nobody died”