Friday, April 6, 2007

Waiting for the World to Change?

I generally like John Mayer, but his song “Waiting for the World to Change” gets under my skin. I like the music and the general vibe of the song, but the lyrics kind of bother me.

The gist of the song seems to be that because his generation (which is also my generation) has very little chance of making a change in society, we should sit back and wait until the Baby Boomers die off and our generation “rules the population.” This smacks of apathy to me, which I can’t stand.

However, I am a big believer in focusing your efforts where they have the greatest chance of making a positive change, which kind of leaves me in the middle of the road where politics are concerned. I have definite opinions on the hot issues, but I don’t get particularly passionate about any of them because it seems like wasted energy. And I don’t get into any of the news shows, because I am fully aware that at the end of the day, it’s more about ratings than “fair and balanced” journalism. I don’t get irritated about it though - I’m content to take what I see with a grain of salt and move on.

I have a friend who is always writing to her congressman, or state representative, or mayor, or WHOEVER has influence over an issue she cares about. I think it’s really cool that she gets involved, and I wish I was motivated to do the same. But because I feel that there’s little chance that my letter would make a difference, I don’t bother. At the end of the day, I am perfectly happy to exercise my right to vote every chance I get, and leave it at that.

I guess the song bothers me because I don’t want to admit that it offers a more accurate description of me than I would like. Sometimes I fancy myself to be more worldly than I actually am where politics are concerned, and I don’t want to be reminded that when it comes right down to it, I really don’t care as much as I’d like to think. I find myself putting a lot of time and energy into the people around me, and putting my concern for the world at large on the backburner.

I guess it all comes back to moderation. You can’t spend all your free time doing protest marches, but you can’t refuse to care either. Thanks to John Mayer for helping me sort all this out.

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