The Comfortable Compromise

I woke up this morning and did my normal internet routine: checked my email, facebook, blogs, myspace and all of those wonderful web pages. While I was on facebook I started thinking about something. I was thinking about, as humans, what excitable little creatures we can be, but at the very same time we fall back into a routine, and become very comfortable in compromise. You probably wonder what in the world I am talking about! Let me explain…

A few months back facebook decided to revamp their, already good, social networking service. They tried to gradually bring change, because I guess they knew how the masses feel about change, and first gave you an option as to whether or not you wanted to switch to the new facebook. But then, after a while, they forced everyone to change over. People were FURIOUS! I include myself in that because I found the new facebook more difficult to use than the old version. People threatened to leave facebook, they started groups (1,000,000,000 people against the new facebook, new facebook haters, etc.), they tried to come up with applications to make it possible to use the old format, they had daily statuses complaining about it, and so on and so forth. I am sure, like I did, many people also gave negative feedback to facebook (it was an option on the new browser up at the top).

Did any of this help? Not that I can see! Does anyone even remember the old facebook after a few months on the new format? Probably not. I sat there this morning and chuckled when I thought about how riled up I got about facebook changing their format, and yet how distant that anger, motivation to speak out against it, and worry about the matter seems now. We tried what we could and then just settled into that mediocre routine of acceptance; recognizing that our voices were not heard and surrendering to compromise of using the new facebook. You see, that’s just the thing! We are using the new facebook; all of us who were sooooooo against it just settled for less, and succumbed to the need to be in a cyber “social network”. The days of “old facebook” are forgotten, though not that far away. And now we are content and happy again.

This is how we operate. We see things we don’t like. We get really excited and riled up about them. We complain for a little bit. But then whether the thing changes, for the good or bad, we eventually forget about it and move on. We saw this happen near the middle of the year with the xenophobic attacks here in South Africa. When it was on the nightly news and we were forced to see graphic pictures of the violence and sad images of the refugee camps, we cared; we talked about it, we were outraged, we donated stuff, we smiled at every foreigner we saw, we volunteered our time at refugee camps, and we seemed to really care. Now, it is no longer in our faces anymore. Though xenophobia still exists, some of the refugee camps are still around and some of them are even worse off than before, we have moved on (though I know some people who are completely dedicated to the cause). But the masses are no longer affected by it because it is no longer in their faces or disrupting their day-to-day lives.

All of this to say, I have seen this same trend with the kids living on the streets. People complain about them when they are harassed on a night out on Long Street, are outraged when they are robbed by one of the kids, and are heartbroken when something terrible happens to one of the “street children” (like in 2003 when a young boy was shot, execution style, at point blank range by Michael Jackson: the Teasers strip club owner), but that emotion that they feel does not drive them to do something lasting about the situation. Most of the time, when the emotion wears off, so does the motivation to see the situation changed. Something that an individual felt SO strongly about can simply be compromised. The person settles back into his or her comfortable, “normal” life, and moves on…

until the next drama occurs.


2 Responses to The Comfortable Compromise

  1. John says:

    I will let someone who has been oppressed speak for how I feel.

    “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
    Elie Wiesel

  2. RedFox says:

    "May the Lord Bless you & Keep you, Shine His Face Upon you & Give you PEACE!!!!"

    Love you lil Bro.

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