The good, the bad, and the indifferent

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marcfrey150If an innocent person has been  stabbed and lies bleeding in the street, we know who the bad and the good are. But how do we judge the passersby who could have saved a life but decided not to take action for fear of getting entangled in the case? Is an indifferent person bad by choosing to be silent or passive?

Good and bad have been part of mankind’s struggle since the beginning. We know that more good than bad exists; yet the wish for global peace, and the hope for societies that universally take care of everybody remains an elusive goal. Part of the reason is that there are too many “indifferent” individuals; people that are fully aware of what is going on, but for various reasons choose not to take action or speak up or change their behavior. As a matter of fact, it seems that those committing immoral acts and those actively involved in doing good seem to be in the minority, and that there is a large but passive moral majority, the indifferent. The “silent moral majority” as I like to call them.

It’s hard to blame hard-working, law-abiding citizens that quietly take care of their own business. Yet without their outrage, without their voices, without their votes, action and  involvement, progressing towards a better and more just society seems at times like a Sisyphean act.

Why we are allowing institutions, corporations, politicians, celebrities, bullies and criminals to lie to us, to trick us, to take advantage of us for simply not performing as promised is beyond my comprehension. So, the next time you feel strongly about any type of injustice, small or large, don’t stand silently. Get out of your comfort zone and take action.

I asked a man much wiser than myself if we as a society had become less moral. His answer was that morality over the last few decades has become more of an individual choice. Looking back in history, we can conclude that there always have been periods of higher and lower moral standards that were accepted by various societies. But we now live in a time in which the power of an individual is greater than ever, and it becomes increasingly difficult to simply accept “wrong.” In other words, “good” is a choice we can all make individually and help others to make.

We have the power to make choices with our wallets. We have the power to vote and send clear messages to politicians and lawmakers, and collectively that is a powerful tool. We have the power to change our neighborhoods, our schools, our health care system, the way we eat, the way we take care of our planet, the way we treat the person next door, and the way we instill moral values in our kids. Simply accepting things as they are is no longer good enough; it is ultimately up to us as a collective to raise the bar.

At times we might not immediately feel the effects of our endeavors, but I can promise you this: You will live a more fulfilling life, knowing that you tried!