Nov. 10, 2014
Democracy is hard. It can be frustrating, ugly and tedious.
It can seem like the worst, most ineffective way of going about government.
In recent memory, it has been so frustrating as to cause the worst feeling imaginable in the citizens of this country: apathy.
Apathy is the worst emotion one can have, because it signifi es an absence of caring. With emotions such as anger, at least we still know you care enough to get riled up about it. With apathy, you have given up.
Perhaps it isn’t worth trying, perhaps there’s no reason to participate in democracy. Why try with all the nonsense that goes on with our system of government? Let’s just give up and let it all go to pot, some think.
It is tempting to say nuts to this nonsense, why even bother?
But a word of caution: don’t take this “nonsense” for granted.
Democracy is still the best form of government that humans have ever conceived. And it has to be protected, because it is frighteningly fragile.
It’s a relatively new idea in human history, democracy. For most of our existence, we have survived in systems that didn’t take the input of everyone into account: dictatorship, oligarchy, etc.
We are some of the luckiest humans in our history, to have the privileges we do when it comes to government. But it can vanish in a flash.
And as we have seen consistently, once earned, it is even harder to make democracy stick.
There are constantly those, both within and outside of this country, that seek to take our democracy and freedom from us.
But that’s where we, the average American, come in.
This Veteran’s Day, remember the sacrifices that those who came before us made to ensure the continuation of our democracy and our freedom.
Because freedom is hard. It’s not like somebody ordained that there would be freedom in this country and that it would continue forever.
Those who came before us fought and died for the ideals of democracy and freedom, however imperfect they are, and it seems awfully disrespectful to not remember that.
It can even be dangerous for the current generation, because when we lose our perspective of how we lucky we are, we endanger the security of our own democracy and freedom.
Remember what they did, so that you can bemoan the “nonsense” of our government and not die. Use Veteran’s Day as an opportunity to appreciate the people that have made what you do and enjoy possible.
But here’s the thing about our holidays, including Veteran’s Day. We have to live what we feel every day, not just once a year. It doesn’t do to be nice to people only around Christmas, remember Martin Luther King Jr. only on his day, or appreciate our country only on the fourth of July.
It is our continued appreciation for our democracy and those that came before that will keep our democracy, and our freedom, secure for both ourselves and future generations.
It’s the best “nonsense” we’ve come up with so far, so make sure you appreciate those who have and continue to protect it.