Tuesday, November 10, 2009

If You're Not Outraged, You're Not Paying Attention...and other pithy quotes that could change the world

Many people have seen a particular bumper sticker which reads, "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."

Remember? You were on the highway, behind a rattly Subaru emblazoned with college stickers, "Buy Organic!" admonitions and maybe a black Lab (sporting an elaborate macrame collar) panting out the window.

Then again, clearly, many people haven't seen this sticker--or, if they did, they weren't paying attention.

Perhaps they don't really watch or read or think about the news.

I am outraged more and more lately. I truly wish I weren't.

I'd like to get back to oblivious-ness. I would like to think about literature more. I'd like to have more quiet time to write fiction. I need to get some books out. I need to focus on me.

But the world is begging for change. Good change. I don't know if I'm one to bring the change, but all I can do is try.

I feel like the kid who threw back the starfish that washed up on the beach--the one who said to the man who told him he couldn't possibly rescue all the washed-up starfish, "Well, at least I can save that one."

It's disheartening, though, to want to talk about the issues and the problems and to encounter faces stony with denial or disbelief.

How can the world change for the better if people don't even want to hear about the fact that it needs changing?

Will it be too late when other people finally start to listen?

I am thinking in bumper stickers now, in pithy forwarded e-mails.

Is this a bad sign? Or are bumper stickers or forwarded e-mails the things that other people are finally--when they're ready to notice--going to see and consider?

Are these little messages the things that could finally change America?


  1. You are a beautiful person with a staggering gift for words.

  2. Re: I'd like to get back to oblivious-ness, it's true, ignorance is bliss. Just not knowing, not looking, not caring, is so much easier. Then you can take that air flight to Vegas for the weekend and not worry about your carbon footprint. Eat those California strawberries and not worry about the exploited workers and pesticides. And on and on. How do people do that oblivious thing, anyway?

    1. I don't know. Once your eyes are open, they usually (I hope) stay that way.