The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.
- Albert Einstein
I am a police officer and tonight I had a strange assignment. There is a guy who is in a closed ward in a mental hospital and he frightens the staff so much that the arrangement is that 2 officers stay in the ward at all hours for the time being. It could be our uniform but while we are there he is docile.
This is an odd arrangement. You, as I, would probably think that our job was to get him there and not look after him once we are there - but there it is.
What got me thinking was while staying there while he mostly slept I watched Se7en again and this time I payed more attention to the undertone in the story. Apathy.
Both Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey refer to this in their roles but albeit in different ways.
Last fall I was on a job exchange in Denmark with the Copenhagen Police Department and I chose this with a special interest in Human Trafficking. Did you know according to UN estimates there are more slaves in the world today than ever before in human history? It probably has to do with the fact that we are now so many - estimates are over 7 billion in the year 2011. A hundred years ago we weren't even 1 billion.
Still I didn't think that 2 major world problems of the 21st Century would be slavery and pirates - A lot of see traffic is now going south around the Cape of Good Hope rather than risk the Somali pirates that threaten the shipping lanes of the Suez.
We are in an supposedly enlightened age where every piece of human knowledge is a the tip of our fingers if we wish. Most of us (here - with internet access) have representative governments.
Supposedly we should be on our way to living in a Star Trek Utopia and yet we seem steadily aiming for a worse tomorrow. For all our technology we seem to be using it for entertainment. As for government, a lot of us are happy to believe the last running advertisement for the candidate that uses the word Tax reduction with the best background - preferably the national flag. We don't even bother to check if he/she has ever made good on a promise before. Because it is easier to believe what we are spoon fed (even if it is a lie) rather than making the effort to see what is true.
With all our endless possibilities and respective freedoms we have forgotten our responsibilities and instead of doing good and bettering lives, we take the easiest road and seek maximum short term enjoyment.
Some time ago I rearranged my priorities. I thought what would be most important at the end, long before it happens.
1) Look after my children, I have 3 daughters. Especially just be there.
2) Love my wife. It is the #1 most important thing in upbringing that the children know that their parents are happy with each other.
3) Stay healthy. Live longer and I can keep 1) & 2) going longer.
4) Be aware.
5) Be ready to help those in need and are willing to make an effort themselves. - Not to waste time or energy on those that just feel sorry for themselves and aren't willing to better themselves.
6) Vote sensibly - you should vote and you should make an effort to know what you are voting for.
On a more happier note;
"May you live all the days of your life" - Johnathan Swift
It may sound self evident - but it is not. It is a reminder to remember to be alive every day and not make it pass in some slumber. Your days are numbered, so each is a gift.