The Travesty of Disinterest
This week I was part of a thread on social media that was respectful and still opinionated. The discussion was passionate, diverse, and animated. I contributed my position and added a couple of comments but mostly observed the back and forth.
At one point, someone said, “ Just chill, I don’t read the news or think about any of this, and I am happy.” The post went on, and there wasn’t a response to the contributor. I decided not to challenge the disinterest and let the thread roll itself out.
I have been thinking about how often I hear and how many people express the same indifference. Is it overwhelm or selfishness that has people burying their heads in the sand and avoiding difficult and unpleasant information? While conversations about face masks, systemic racism, politics, can be charged and frustratingly opinionated ( I recognize how frustrating I can be to others), I don’t understand how folks believe they have earned the right to opt-out.
IMHO, ignoring the science supporting wearing a mask in public to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, is irresponsible. If you have a different position — let’s talk about it. IMHO, white people, including me, are complicit in holding on to the barriers of systemic racism because it gives our privilege and power. I would love to hear what you think. IMHO, the polar politics of left and right, is a smokescreen designed to keep the corruption of false democracy from true scrutiny. How can you and I debate important issues if I rely on the key messaging of my alliance to an ideology rather than openness and curiosity to find something better?
I am attempting to embrace curiosity to learn rather than weaponizing inquisitiveness to blow your argument out of the water and end the discussion. I am not indifferent, I hope you aren’t either. It would be great if we could begin a civil dialogue and see where we end up. The as-yet unimagined solutions to the wicked problems we face lay waiting in our discourse flow, never to be discovered if we shout across a chasm.