You know, like when there is a spirited election coming up and the two candidates have radically different approaches to solving public problems. There is always someone who will smirk and say "All politicians stink, that's why I don't bother to vote." When someone says that to me, what I actually hear in my head is "I don't know right from wrong, I don't want to think about the issues, so I am just going to act like nothing matters. I hope you think I'm cool" I don't.
It is easy to be distrustful and negative. Life is simpler if you tune out the noise of the modern world. The hard part is listening to all that noise and trying to make sense of it. The truth is, life is complicated and requires a certain amount of intellectual rigor to figure out right from wrong. Mainstream American culture encourages citizens not to think. The more passive we are, the more compliant we will be. Don't fall for it.
This is why we are thrilled by heroes. They seem to have thought long and hard about right and wrong. They are incorruptible and keep going when the going gets tough. They take a stand. They DO things. They give us hope, and inspire us to be our best selves. Doesn't everyone want to be a hero? If not, why?
Here's a sweet little piece from an Emily Dickinson poem to help us all recharge our batteries:
We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies—