The Sin of Contentedness
By: Barry Belmont

Most of us are highly dissatisfied people. We put our nose to grindstone, we bite the bullet, we trudge through the day just trying to make it to the next. Sure, we see little bits of injustice here and some morally questionable banality there, but we don’t say much, we just don’t want to ruffle any feathers.

I look around and I see thieves robbing, I see thugs hustling. I look a little closer and I realize that no one can protect me from these thieves, these thugs…my protectors. I look even closer and I see bombs dropped on children and debts larger than the total production of the world.  I look and I see all of this and I ask the person next to me, what do you call that? In a word, the person responds, Government.

But I can’t help feeling that something is amiss.When did it become okay to be content with mass starvation, war, deaths on highways? When did everyone agree that using force to obtain funds is alright for some people and not others? When did government have to stop justifying itself? …Because I must have missed the memo, I must have missed the meeting. I never agreed to any of this.

I’ve been told all my life, When you get older, you’ll understand and here I am and I keep get older and the world is not making any more sense and the more I look at it and the more I question it and the more I ask it for just one single justification (not a rationalization) of why it should be the that it is, the world — looking at me through the eyes of someone defeated by it, speaking to me with the voice that no longer quivers in fear of it — the world simply says, That’s just the way that it goes.

Everyday I am dissatisfied. But I will no longer be pacified into submission. It won’t be, Calm down, Everything’s okay, We’re fine. Everything is not okay, we are not fine. The world is an ugly place full of artists who for too long have only painted masterpieces inside their eyelids. We must turn ourselves loose on the world, to color it, to fix it, to change it, to make it better. Because it certainly isn’t going to do it itself.

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1 Comment Posted in The State
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  • Jesse

    Very well said.