At a bar where I exchange English for Spanish one a week for an hour not too long ago, I tried to turn in my free beer voucher for a nice cold pint but I was refused my usual beer and told that I could only have water. I asked the bartender why, “that’s the only thing you can have” he said. I wasn’t happy and scoffed. For as long as I’ve been going to that event, close to two-years now, I’ve had a “free” included beer with the 30-peso per event fee. The other night, mysteriously, they had changed their procedure without notice or, as it seems, care for what, me, the paying client thinks.
My friend told me I was overreacting yet I thought her under-reacting.
How often are people labeled as over-reactors when they are simply trying to understand why something is the way it is or isn’t? Is it an overreaction to question? To dig a little into a situation? To question the prevailing authority over this society?
I see that night’s quite trivial event, as a microcosm to a grander issue unfolding and pressing against each citizen of this current monster of a society—the prevailing under-reacting to seek what’s right. As far as I can see, people wait, like patients in a waiting room waiting to be called in to the doctor’s office, for the right answer. No body wants to take the lead, but be lead by the least amongst us. No body wants to pick up the rock of the situation and see what lies beneath it. We’re too lazy for such investigation. Docile cats strolling the streets for a stranger to throw some food.
What you call overreacting I call intelligence. As inconsequential as me not getting my beer the other night was, it underscored just how ready people are to accept. We’re knocking over our kings five moves into the game. Let’s shut up, be quite, and surrender to the will of the collective. They have already figured out what’s right for us, through their hard work in Congress and Legislation, their righteousness and uprightness, and through their honesty and desire for the common good…. so now what right do we have to question anything? Those that question deserve to die. Traitors! Trouble makers! Fools! Be quite and eat your food.
But I’d rather starve than go to bed with the Devil. I’d rather question what’s not right, with cuts, bruises, insults, and all, than remain silent to unrighteousness with the comfort of security, food, and protection. We’ve become weak and ineffective. The dog has lost his bite and the bark has long been muzzled with obedience, fear, and “let’s not make a big deal of this.”
Has there ever been a time like this one when overreaction was more necessary? I think not. When the spirit is at the brink of extinction each trivial event becomes paramount to our attention. We have to flip off the auto-pilot switch and take control of the machinery ourselves once more. They burned our Library of Alexandria and hung our hero Captain John Brown and silenced Jesus on the Cross, but what’s great has and will forever be great.
You are great.
Though the prevailing winds of the society may steer you down their right passage, fast and safely, don’t hesitate to tack and go against the wind—it may take you longer to get home, but at least your spirit will remain intact and your Self Respect and dignity wouldn’t have been sold to the highest bidder in exchange for your obedience to a system so corrupt, so well disguised, that you think of it as the only Right for fear of life.
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