“It’s 2014.”

Yes, it is.

So what?

What is it with people’s compulsion to state the year any time they’re surprised that the world is more oppressive and horrible than they’d imagined?  These things don’t simply erode with the sands of time, passively worn down through the length of their existence.  To assume so is to undermine the bravery and strenuous labor people have put into actual change for the better, to dismiss all their personal risks and contributions as nothing but the seconds ticking by, to trivialize their strain and sacrifice as nothing but an effortless inevitability.

It’s worrying when people buy into the fallacy that everything gets better as we move into the future, that everything was worse in the past, and that the timeline of events proceeds in a linear fashion with every single thing always improving for the better — which all amounts to: you can sit back and not do a thing, and these problems will just take care of themselves, if you give it time.

It is perhaps the most insidious and brilliant way of discouraging otherwise well-meaning people from the necessity of immediate action and involvement.

For those who have been fighting for decades and are dismayed at the lack of progress within their own lifetimes, I empathize, but for those who just showed up on the scene and are bewildered by how little had been accomplished: yes, it’s 2014, and that doesn’t mean a thing.  You expected things to get better while you were asleep at the wheel?

Sorry, no, this sort of thing takes work.  And if you’re surprised, then that only demonstrates how little you have participated in doing that work.

 

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