Wednesday, September 21, 2011

an apathetic generation


Today, the state of Georgia plans to execute a man for a crime he most likely did not commit. Have you heard of Troy Davis and his story? If not, you can read about it here and here. Basically it boils down to this... Troy Davis was sentenced to death for the murder of a police officer. After he was sentenced, developments have come to light that include reports of police misconduct, testimonies have been recanted and withdrawn, and so forth. The Georgia pardon and parole board has refused to grant Troy clemency despite the support of over 600,000 people included President Jimmy Carter and 51 members of congress.

I tell you this today not to get all political on you. That's not what Smith & Emma is here for. I wanted to talk about this today because sometimes it freaks me out how apathetic our generation is.

apathy: [adjective] Showing or feeling no interest, enthusiasm, or concern.

When I first read about Troy's case a while ago, I admit to not really thinking more about it. However, when I read yesterday that he was denied clemency despite all of this evidence that he did not in fact murder the police officer, I physically felt ill about it. To think about all of the people who were fighting, and yet all of the people who had never heard of Troy's case--blows my mind. The state of Georgia is going to sentence a man to death for this... and yet still people are not reading about it or talking about it.

I hear about these things and I have to talk about it. I have to share it with people. That's just my nature. If you follow me on twitter or read my personal blog, that's not news to you. I don't expect others to get as riled us as I do. But I do think it's our duty as adult citizens of the world to stay informed, to read the news, to stay up to date about what is happening in our society.

For as long as I can remember, my dad has been sending me news articles from the New York Times. I think that's where my interest in the news comes from. He saw the importance of informing his children on what is going on in the world. Thanks to him, I think I'm a well-rounded individual. But does that mean I could tell you every little thing that is going on in the Middle East right now? Hell no. But I have a small sense of what is going on. And I always know where to find more information.

It is our duty to form an opinion on matters such as these and do something about it. To vote. To talk about it.

The mindset of "What can do?" or "My opinion doesn't matter" really bothers me. If everyone sat back and did nothing--well that would be a scary world. It is because of individuals just like you and me who make things happen, who make changes in the world.

Maybe it's not the Troy Davis' or the Casey Anthony's that get your riled up. But find something that does and support it. I promise you--your voice matters. Your vote counts. Don't let things slip by you just because you aren't informed about them. Start reading your local newspaper. Follow current events. Think about what you personally believe. Don't let others sway your opinions. Stand your ground.

Educate yourself. Form opinions. Be heard. And most importantly, don't be apathetic.

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