Wednesday, December 10, 2014
The Tipping Point
This post has a lot of questions. Not all are rhetorical.
On the weekend, I had a bit of a disagreement with the staff at a certain "gourmet" burger chain. It left me bewildered, embarrassed and then angry. But in the end I waved it off. But my friend got up and went and yelled at the staff, because she felt strongly about the horrid customer service we'd been given.
I was so grateful. I felt strongly about the whole issue too, but not enough to actually take action, to DO SOMETHING.
I've been thinking about Taking Action a lot lately. Particularly with regards to growing up and being a responsible citizen and conscientious voter. When we see something we disagree with, we should speak up, yes? Then why don't we?
Why will a train carriage full of people steadfastedly ignore that one person who is blatantly breaking the rules? Why will one person film an altercation with their phone but not attempt to stop the wrongdoing they are capturing?
There are a number of complex issues here, but I think it boils down to two things - fear and caring. In order to get past the fear of speaking out or taking action, you need to care enough about what is happening.
Last week, I signed a petition that someone had got up regarding cuts to the ABC. This is something I feel strongly about, but if the petition had not been placed directly in front of me (ie. via an easily clickable link), I probably would not have done anything about it. I would not have written about it, or tweeted my feelings, or even - my goodness - written to my MP about it. Isn't that what people do, write to their MP about stuff?
So, I have been thinking some more about my tipping point - what has to happen for me to actually take action? There are abundant wrongs that need righting in the world - at what point do I take up the banner and start making noise?
I do not tend to voice my political opinions online, but I have political opinions. I am not someone who will pick up the phone and call radio talkback, or write stern letters. I will not write opinion pieces or lobby for change. I do not turn up for protests. But I feel like I should consider these options, as valid ways to make my voice heard.
Because if the people who can solve problems cannot hear the voice of those asking for change, how can they take action themselves?
I'm interested - what's your tipping point? What does it take for you to write that letter?