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Complacency and Current Social Issues: H.O.W. Must Happen Now!

Updated on December 20, 2012

DEFINITION OF COMPLACENCY BY MERRIAM-WEBSTER

“self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies”

What a great definition for a disease spreading around the world. To put it another way, complacency is being satisfied with the current state of affairs all the while being clueless that the poop is about to hit the fan!

“Don't let your special character and values, the secret that you know and no one else does, the truth - don't let that get swallowed up by the great chewing complacency.”
Aesop

Character and values swallowed up by the great chewing complacency! What a great description of today’s world! Think not? Well then read on if you will!

Let's talk about civic responsibility
Let's talk about civic responsibility | Source
The Clackamas Mall Tragedy
The Clackamas Mall Tragedy | Source
Tragedy is a way of life....but it doesn't have to be.
Tragedy is a way of life....but it doesn't have to be. | Source

CURRENT TRAGEDIES

We had barely finished reading about a shooting at a shopping mall in Oregon when our comfy little world was knocked off its axis by the horrors at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Millions cried out in horror. Donations were taken for the victims, editorials were written and tears flowed, as the world tried to comprehend yet another horror against humanity. Children were hugged a little tighter by their parents, gun control became the hot topic, and promises to do better were issued by politicians.

And then we went about the business of living once again.

The wolves are howling at our door and yet we do not hear, and worse, we do not act.

2012 has been quite a year for mass shootings. To date, there have been 79 killed and 95 wounded this past year in these senseless acts of violence. The shootings happened in Norcross, Chardon, Pittsburg and Oakland. They happened in Seattle, Auburn, Tuscaloosa and Aurora. From Oak Creek to Old Bridge, from Minneapolis to Brookfield and Clackamas, our world was briefly shattered, and yes, they happened in Newtown as well. In the aftermath of each one, donations were taken, editorials written, and tears flowed. Children were hugged a little tighter by their parents, gun control became the hot topic, and promises to do better were issued by the politicians.

And then we went about the business of living once again.

In truth, over 8,700 citizens in the United States were firearm fatalities in 2012. Eighty-seven hundred human beings suffered the pain and indignity of having a small piece of metal invade their bodies at incredible speed and strike them dead. One moment they were here, going about their daily lives, and the next they were gone, the latest in a statistic that can in no way be considered an anomaly.

The wolves are howling at our door and yet we do not hear, and worse, we do not act.

THE HOUSING MARKET

The housing market is fine in the United States provided you aren’t one of the 650,000 who are homeless. That is a statement born of complacency.

The housing market is fine in the world provided you aren’t one of the 100 million who are homeless, or one of the additional 1.6 billion who have inadequate housing. That is a statement born of complacency!

Remember the definition of complacency: self-satisfaction accompanied by cluelessness! In other words, we think all is well as long as the wolves haven’t found our door.

Fifty million people in the United States living below the poverty level, but all is fine because we have our big-screen television and two cars in the garage. Complacency!

IN A CAPITALISTIC SOCIETY, PORN, PAIN AND PLEASURE SELL

We all know the human trafficking figures. We all know it is happening around the world and yes, in the United States, as supply meets demand and the only cost is the life of yet another innocent child. We know it is happening in Portland, St. Louis, Sacramento, Washington D.C., Cleveland and a city near you, but all is fine as long as our children are safe. Complacency!

We all know that pornography sites flood the internet. We all know that prostitution quite often involves girls and young women forced to perform unmentionable acts but hell yes, all is fine as long as we can see our child sleeping peacefully in bed. Complacency!

I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED……

Billions are spent each year to influence the votes of our Congressional leaders. Billions! Those dollars are spent by the war machine and the alcohol industry. They are spent by the NRA and the drug industries, and they are spent by the oil and banking lobbyists as well.

Compare that to the amount of money spent by lobbyists who have the average citizens’ interests at heart. Do you honestly believe for a second that your representatives in Congress are looking out for your best interests?

Millions of American Veterans cannot get the benefits that they deserve; on any given night over 100,000 Veterans are homeless. Considering the fact that they fought for our freedom, that is 100,000 too many.

But all is well in suburbia because Joe and Paula Average managed to make their credit card payments this month. Complacency!

WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE?

I was deeply touched by the outpouring of love, from around the world, for the Sandy Hook families, just as I was deeply touched by the outpouring of love following the twelve mass shootings prior to Newtown. I’m sure the families were deeply touched, and I’m sure those who gave donations and sent letters of condolence shared in the sorrow. Perhaps they were even moved to write a letter to the White House demanding change, or they wrote a song or poem in honor of the fallen.

All well and good, until a few weeks pass and it is back to business as normal.

All the while the wolves howl at our door, and we once again fail to hear and worse, we once again fail to act.

How many more must die before we are slapped out of our complacency? How many more children need to be stolen in the night from shopping malls, and how many more homeless need to die on park benches in the richest nation on earth?

Sit with me awhile and let's chat

Do you feel there is more you can do?

See results

THE COLD, HARD TRUTH

Everything is not alright as long as we can afford cable television. Everything is not alright as long as we have gas for our SUV and our children are receiving a good education in their private school. Raise up a glass of champagne and toast the good times, and thank God it hasn’t happened to us….yet!

The donations have been made, and the condolences sent, and now it’s back to normal, except that the normal is getting a bit scarier with each passing month…..and if we do not continue to cry out, if we do not continue to demand change, and if we do not continue to feel the pain of others, we will be walking, talking, breathing examples of complacency.

We are not done just because we sent a donation to Sandy Hook! We are not done because we donated an old blanket to the Homeless Center, and we are not done because we righteously decried the illegal drug trade or bought a flag pin from a Veteran at Safeway. Nice acts for sure, but they equate to lovingly placing a Band Aid over a cancerous tumor.

We need to make this world a better place to live in. We need to make our communities safer and our homes temples of learning and love. We need to do those things because we can’t count on our leaders to do them for us.

We are all in this together, and the sooner everyone wakes up to that fact the better. Find out what you can do, not after a disaster, but right now, today, to make a difference in this world.

Do not let the wolves keep howling and do nothing. Shake off the complacency and demand change; be an instrument of change; and show others H.O.W. to affect change.

Now, while there is still time!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, I truly hope that you are right. Thank you as always; I love your positive outlook.

      love,

      billy

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Billy

      This is another fantastic write and I agree with you except with one difference. I see change with this latest tragedy in Sandy Hook. I see serious evidence that many people in areas able to make the change are lobbying for it. I see many affected to a point of action. I just read a letter from one of our politicians fighting for changes in gun laws. It gives me some belief again and I think you are going to see it as well.

      You have to give some credit where it is due. I don't think anyone is being complacent with this.

      Always a friend,

      Beckie

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Graham, I'm trying my friend. It helps having friends like you who shoulder the load when I get tired. Thank you for that and have a great day in Lancashire.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Bill you are a voice in the wilderness no more, you are galvanising opinion with your brilliant initiative. Press on Bill for you will be heard. Regarding this hub, another straight from the shoulder comment on the current chaos. Well done.

      Graham.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, we did indeed. The shoulder of blame is on every citizen and yes, we can get out of it. Thanks buddy!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      A big amen, Bill! We got ourselves into this mess and we can get ourselves out. Period.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pickles, good for you and the job you do! I agree about empathy; it is sorely lacking in this country. Thank you and Happy New Year!

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      great article Billy Buc. I couldn't agree with you more. I work daily to advocate for many causes and won't stop until it is time to meet my maker. I hope people grow a sense of empathy because we are surely lacking that emotion. Vote up!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Glimmer, and you make an excellent point! We do tend to push the ugly to the back of our minds; I think that is just human nature.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      We need to be reminded of this Bill. "Life goes on" as the saying goes and things we don't want to think about get pushed to the backs of our minds sad to say. I admit I do it too. Articles like this remind us that they shouldn't be! Thank you for this. Pinned and up.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debbie, don't tell anyone, but I get disheartened too. :) Shhhh, our secret.

      Merry Christmas and God bless you as well.

      bill

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Billy another great HOW hub.. you are the best.. I have learned so much from you..

      I do get somewhat dishearten and then i read your hubs.., You make me want to do..

      God bless you

      Debbie

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, as you might suspect, I love a person who walks the talk, and you my friend, are walking strong and proud. Thank you for caring so much, and I mean that with all sincerity. As a cynical optimist, stories and words such as yours make me lean much more towards the optimistic side of the ledger.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      bil....agreed...it has to be as bad as it can get.....such insanity, such unbearable sadness.....but many of us are not "going on our merry way," forgetting these hard lessons......I see some light shining through. Throngs of people have come to the aid and comfort of the despairing families of the Sandy Hook tragedies. It's uplifting to see and hear all the wonderful and creative things people are doing to be of help. The compassion, generosity and unity is amazing!

      H.O.W is growing, bil and you can be proud of the spirits that are being moved and the awareness......just the awareness alone has been so promising.

      People listening, having their say....thinking and creating. Doing and giving, in their own ways, big and small. It's spreading and this is what we wanted. There'll be no stopping H.O.W.

      I'm now all signed up with Literacy Volunteers of America and ready to rock and roll!!.............UP+++

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      I agree with you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leslie, I honestly don't understand! I could have written everything that you just wrote. What is wrong with people? I have no idea, but most of them are in for a rude awakening down the road, and then you know what they will do? They will blame others for their lot in life. Nobody takes any responsibility for their actions. It's always someone else's fault. I'm dead tired of it.

      I'll tell you what I won't do....I won't shut up! I'm going to keep screaming common sense at people, and even if they don't listen, at least I'll feel better for it. LOL

      Can you say "bang"......is that politically correct??? Shit, what is politically correct nowadays?

      Thanks my dear. Sending love you way and great gratitude.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, I have a dear friend with Alzheimer's....he's the only one who gets a pass on this subject. Everyone else needs to take the cotton out of their ears and put it in their mouths for awhile. :)

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      Interestingly, my friend - i am often told by the complacent - that i need to become MORE complacent..that i should just 'chill-ax'...stop worrying about things i 'have no control over'..'have a drink'...etc..

      i don't fit in because of my lack of complacency (and dislike of alcohol..lol) - and - i've stopped caring!

      i used to think how blissful a little ignorance would be- but now - seeing the state of affairs and many of my earlier 'predictions' come to bear fruit - i've changed my stance..

      my stance now is that i don't have to chill out - YOU have to care! (not YOU you...clearly..) when we stop caring - we're done - and clearly - we're more stopped than started!

      I hear absolutely NO hue and cry over topics that people should be having coronaries over - but....nuthin..

      Althooooo, i did hear that tom cruise bought his daughter a 24 million dollar house for christmas. i assume she can stuff a shitload of dollies in there, eh?

      What is WRONG with people? It's NOT too late unless no one stands up and speaks out!

      shame on tom and anyone like him!

      What you do so incredibly well, Bill, is take a bite out of the enormity of the human condition and break it down to it's lowest common denominator! Your assertion that we are complacent as a society is bang on! (if i'm allowed to say that...sigh..)

      up and sharing forward..

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      billy, you're right. I find myself repeating things many times or people asking me things that I had already told them, which means that they haven't heard one word I say.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, listening is a lost art nowadays. My memory is sharp but fading with age, but I can still listen. :) Thank you!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      You probably have a sharp memory and are a good listener. I've been told by people that I have a good memory. I retain information because I listen too.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, I'm like that.....I stop and ponder something for quite some time before I act. People think I've forgotten about a subject, but I'm just letting it simmer on one of my back burners. :)

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Merry Christmas to you too Billy. Your hubs are worth revisiting. I'm still thinking of how we can make it happen. I haven't forgotten. Have a great weekend too!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Doc! Well, if we wait for Congress to lead us, we are going nowhere! Same old inaction on their part; first big issue of the new term and they can't agree on anything.

      Have a great weekend, Doc, and Merry Christmas!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Good points with examples. much food for thought. I agree Billy. We are 100 % responsible for our actions. The question is where do we go from here? A powerful message in this video. Voting up!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jen! Although I am discouraged, I still hold out hope that society will wake up to the truth. In the meantime, have a very Merry Christmas my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzie, good to see you again! I wish more people were like you; we might get something done in this country.

      Merry Christmas to you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, we have very short memories as a society, and we tend to, for the most part, ignore violence when it does not happen to us.....and that could be a costly mistake. Thank you!

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 4 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Hear hear! Brilliantly said Bill!

      "We need to make this world a better place to live in. We need to make our communities safer and our homes temples of learning and love. We need to do those things because we can’t count on our leaders to do them for us."

      This is so true, unfortunately our governments work to their own agendas and not for the people, it is up to us (everyone) to make the change, and start working with each other to make this world a better place. voted up and all sorts my friend... Great job! :-) All the best, Jen

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Excellent, and very true! I feel like you read my mind..... This is my sentiment exactly, and I see the way our country is proceeding! Your message is very powerful and I hope people pay attention to this! Don't think, even for once, that you are singing to the choir, this will be heard! :)

      wonderful job, Billy, and keep it up! Sharing, voting and everything .....

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is another important hub, Bill. We certainly do need to avoid complacency while violence and social problems exist in society. Thank you for encouraging people to avoid complacency in their lives.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Ruby, and I don't want to hear our President say it is going to require much compromise. Assault rifles cannot be allowed in this country.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      The tragedy in Connecticut literally brought me to my knees. How could this happen in America? I won't forget, it's impossible to do so. I hope we will never forget what happened there, so many times we feel pity then in a few days we tend to forget. Not this time. We must demand gun control on assault weapons and treatment of the mentally ill. Thank you Bill..

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heck, Melissa, I'm just as guilty as anyone. It's real easy to slip back into the comfort of our lives.

      Thanks for dropping by; you are so very loyal.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Very powerful and moving hub, Bill. I'm not sure what to say, other than to acknowledge that a lot of us-myself included--do become complacent with our lives and our comfortable middle-class homes, cars, jobs, etc. This is a great reminder that we need to snap out of it!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amy, I have no answer for you, and I feel what you feel. All I know is there is one option I refuse to accept, and that is to give up!

      I'm going to keep chipping away in my little corner of the world and try to make some kind of damn difference. I don't know what else to do, but rolling over ain't in my vocabulary. :)

      love to you,

      bill

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I was very touched by President Obama's heartfelt grief and his promise to stop the madness after the CT tragedy, one in a long line of violence against innocent people. The fact that this massacre slaughtered 20 of the most vulnerable in society, little children, hit esp hard. The president, being a devoted, loving father got it right. If we can't insure the safety of our children, nothing else matters. However, I could see at his press conference yesterday that he is already carefully monitoring his verbiage so as not to incite the NRA and American's who refuse to budge on their rights to gun ownership, including assault weapons. Our leader cannot make any laws without the votes of those who staunchly oppose every idea is has. His own words regarding the fiscal cliff were that the difficulties in coming to any compromise are their unwillingness to say "yes" to "him." If this is what America has to contend with at the top, what hope do we have, Bill, for any change? It is clear to me that what the majority voted for, what the majority want, even what the president believes is best, is moot. Where do we go from here? It is no wonder complacency exists despite the fact that change is needed now.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mark! I'll keep pouring the message out there.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Will,

      Your point is a valid one. I did a hub once on gangs, and the death total in Los Angeles alone, due to gang warfare, is astounding....more than in several states combined.

      Thank you for a great perspective. Amazing about Scotland.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Another great article Bill, We need to keep up the message and you certainly doing that!

      Mark

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Bill,

      I think we ignore it because their victims are also young, fatherless, minority males. We talk a lot about inner city violence, but we don't really do much because it's no real threat to us.

      If we factor out inner city gun crime to see how we fare against countries with tiny minority populations, we are no more violent than they are, and usually much less. Totally disarmed Scotland was recently rated the most violent country on Earth, by the UN:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/425796...

      Bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Will, I had not heard that statistic, but it is amazingly sad. Thank you for that, and I appreciate you stopping by. It is a national tragedy, and sooner rather than later we need to address ways of attacking that problem.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Great work.

      I looked into this a few years ago, because I was curious as to why the other well-armed nations like Switzerland and Canada had such low gun crime rates compared to the US, and I was shocked to learn that nearly 70% of all gun murders in the US are committed by young, fatherless, minority males. That is a national tragedy that we largely ignore.

      Good Hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, I love that idea of 30/30 social issues. Good luck and I look forward to reading your works.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      It is hard to carry a sledgehammer in one hand and an olive branch in the other. Most folks do not comment but only read on matters of import. Some of us do ok with words and persuasiveness, we must keep the words flowing so folks keep it in mind.

      I am now going to take my own 30 hubs in 30 days challenge on social issues. The fire must be hot to prepare the feast.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Linda! I'm glad you are hopeful; I'm not, but that's the cynic in me. I think all we are seeing is political posturing by politicians. I'll be interested in hearing the announcement by the NRA tomorrow.

      Still, changes need to happen in the home....in the schools...in the local communities across America....there is always a rush locally when a tragedy strikes. If I see continued effort six months from now, my cynicism will go away. :)

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Bill, a great motivational piece. It is interesting to me that we see things a bit differently regarding a quick return to "normal" after the Sandy Hook tragedy. From my perch, it looks quite the opposite. I think this one changed the apathy because of the innocence of 20 children. Here in my neck of the woods, prayer vigils are continuing at various schools. Grassroots organizations are being formed like Newtown United - https://www.facebook.com/NewtownUnited and they are partnering with more established organizations like http://www.peacefultomorrows.org/ .

      In my state, the governor is putting together a task force to address the multiple issues around this shooting and will be holding town-hall style meetings across the state for citizen input.

      Now, in spite of all that, it's still not enough and I agree that it will take all of us doing something. But, I am hopeful that even our government is going to address the necessary changes in our mental health system Still, our voices need to be heard and we have to reach out to individuals in our own community.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I love the cause you just mentioned. I'm reminded of M.A.D.D.....one mother started that organization, and look at the change she made. :) Thank you as always!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, I agree with you, that 9-11 seemed to wake people up.....I was in college during the late 60's, and there was great involvement then, and it was exciting and change happened.....and quite frankly I see none of that today.

      Thank you Tammy!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      The only time in my life that I remember people not being complacent is during the 9-11 attacks. I am not sure what it will take, but something needs to be done on a world level. Great hub for the cause!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill yet again you are the voice of reason and couldn't agree with you more. We need act now and quickly, because this world is truly a scary one that we live in and get scarier by the day. I am with you on this one and just want it to be better, safer place for my children and children's children to live in. Whatever needs to be done I am all for it!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Jeff! I think I'm preaching to the choir with this one. :)

    • profile image

      JThomp42 4 years ago

      Amen Bill. We all need to act, instead of thinking others will do it for us. Awesome hub!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, you used an excellent example and thank you for that. People either don't think they can do something, or they get too busy with their lives and don't do something. All it takes is a willingness to get involved.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      It is so true that after the initial outburst of help, support, grief and sharing..it is back to business as usual. The world is not an equal place for people..rich, poor, sick, etc. We can do something...though I am not always sure what that is. Look at all the things in history that have been accomplished by people complaining enough, picketing and having their voice heard. One of the best is MADD....the laws have improved and there often is no second chance after a DWI....So keep this coming Bill it will sink in...It will.