If you happen to know any child of former communists, you will know they tend to be pessimistic and sarcastic about the world. I’m one of them. My theory is that we grew up seeing our parents heart-broken over an idealistic cause that ended up in more deaths and authoritarian regimes, rather than the change and liberty they imagined. So social chaos and crisis make me shrug my shoulders and disengage because I find it all so upsetting. Change is too hard and often times it falls apart.
But right after the recent tragedy in Newton CT, I immediately felt the urge to engage and start campaigning for action. I started asking all my friends and colleagues to write the President, Congress and even our local government to take action on Gun Control (it’s not the whole answer, I know, but we have to start somewhere!) Then, a fellow pessimistic friend of mine asked me, do you think anything can change?
In the 13 years I’ve been living in the U.S. I have seen gay marriage become a reality, pot legalized, bike lanes built, healthy foods in school, ban on plastic bags, smoking bans, universal healthcare pass, email spam regulation, phone marketing opt-out legislation, food labeling changes, and much more. My relative marker of change is way slower than this. As a skeptic, I have now witnessed enough evidence to say that I believe in this country and its ability to implement change. To me, the U.S. has shown to be a progressive society that is willing to adapt, examine itself and correct course. Yes, it takes a lot of effort and perhaps longer than it should but YES, things can change.
I believe, we CAN build a society that is better for us. One that takes care of the vulnerable, one that protects individual freedoms without compromising the safety of the whole.
So, I ask you to get involved too and express social pressure to reduce the number of mass-killings. May be you think it’s gun-control or more mental-health support systems… whatever… but we can do something.
Hopeful and believing that 2013 will be better than 2012.