The "C" Branch

Jaded commentary on random shit, with an extra helping of cynicism, satire and general contempt for society & Western culture, religion, politics, celebrities, technology, business & more.

Taking Our Society Back

Posted by Chris DeMarco on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008 at 10:09 pm

This is the second of a multiple-post series.
If you haven’t read the first post, you can find it here.

About a month ago, I wrote about some very apparent and substantial concerns with the directions American society is heading in. Hopefully you’ve had the opportunity to take a few minutes here and there and reflect on the points I brought up. If you haven’t read last month’s post, please read it first using the link above before you continue. This is a follow-up of that post in which I’ll explore some of the opportunities we have to bring about change in our society and to reverse the destructive trends that plague our culture and society.

Last month, I emphasized the importance of communication and interaction and explored some of the trends that are resulting in our society from a grave decline and lack of these important aspects of society. Society cannot exist without a sense of community, and these things are vital to a healthy community. So, in this article, I’ll explore five of my ideas on how we can begin to restore community and interaction.

1. Move beyond your own “comfort zone.”
Before you can begin change anything, you have to start with yourself. Take some time to evaluate yourself and how you interact with people. I know as for myself that even being as extroverted as I generally am, there are many social situations where I’ll become shy or uncomfortable. We must first push ourselves further and challenge ourselves to move beyond our “comfort zones,” perhaps stepping out into the crowd or giving that unexpected hug. If you notice that you spend a lot of time texting or on instant messenger, challenge yourself to go out more and interact with people face-to-face. If you’re waiting in a slow-moving line, initiate a conversation with one of the people next to you.

2. Encourage others beyond their “comfort zones.”
Being careful not to be intimidating or to make others too uncomfortable, gently push people beyond their comfort zones. If you see someone sitting alone, go join them and start talking to them. Involve people who are more shy in your conversations, project groups, or meetings. Reach out to people who seem secluded or singled out. Even if this makes them slightly uncomfortable, you’re really doing them a favor and helping them to grow in a way they just haven’t realized yet.

3. Don’t wimp out on the truth.
Be honest with people and stick with what is right, even when it hurts. Way too much stuff in our society is sugar-coated and diluted. If you believe something is wrong, stand up for it no matter what! If your kids want to watch a television show that you don’t feel is appropriate, don’t let them watch it! If your daughter has received detention for hugging a friend, and you don’t think that’s right, protest! By “playing along” with our society as it is we are only complying and supporting it without even realizing it. Be brutally honest with your kids on how you feel about drugs, sex, and violence, and make it clear that you won’t accept it.

4. Double listening, talk half as much.
Take time to really listen to what people have to say. Pay attention to people! Sometimes we all get so caught up in stuff that we miss out on what’s going on with the people around us. Be sensitive to people’s needs and how people are doing. You can save the life of someone about to commit suicide by being there and caring enough to discover there’s a problem. Instead of getting mad at kids bringing guns to school, talk with them and find out why they feel threatened. Instead of judging people, get to know them and see who they really are first. If we take more time to listen and be there for one another, we’ll be more connected and be able to support each other and grow together again.

5. When it’s time to talk, be bold and make your statement.
Don’t chicken out when it is time to talk. Remember to not wimp out on the truth, but also, don’t wimp out on your mission. Make sure that you’re heard. Team up with people and combine voices. A perfect example is the Free Hugs Campaign that has flooded Facebook. People all across the country and even across the world have teamed up for “free hug campaigns” in which participants will agree on a date, and then stand out in the streets and offer strangers passing by a hug. This makes a strong statement that we don’t feel embrace and affection are “tacky” or “poor taste,” and that we won’t stand for our society turning them into just that. Remember, whatever you decide to do, never give up! Eventually, someone will have to listen. Everyone will have to listen.

So, there are some of my thoughts. I’ll be sure and provide updates on the “free hugs” or any other campaigns or events coming up. I hope you’ll be able to find some time to think and reflect about this, and formulate your own game plan on what you’re going to do to take our society back. Together, rather than trying to “make a difference,” we ourselves can be that difference. I know I’m ready. Are you?

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Tagged in:   • America • change • changing society • Culture • revolution • Society

5 Responses to “Taking Our Society Back”

  1. Tom Says:

    I agree with the points made. It would be nice if more people could try some of those suggestions and open up a little bit.

  2. Jeff Says:

    Indeed, but some things I just think will never change in our society.

  3. Chris DeMarco Says:

    Well, be careful not to turn into a pessimist. Perhaps it’s that sort of attitude that makes it that way.

  4. Brooke Patton Says:

    Hey Chris,

    You prove to make another great point. Again, exceeding beyond your maturity level and reaching the maturity of a well-spoken, wise man (which of course is a good thing). I like what you have to say. I sent it to my mom to take a gander at, if I’m impressed I know she will be too.
    The true problem in our society is that no one will take a stand to our difficulties like you do. We all realize it, we all know we should do something about it. Yet, no one will take a stand and do something about it. You could be that person, in fact I know that you should be. You got me out of my box, you could do that for other people as well, easily.
    In fact, next time I see you, I’m going to give you an enormous hug!
    [oh boy, gotta go, you’re texting me…lol]

  5. linuxpenguin Says:

    All too often people are afraid to express their opinions – which gives the impression that they are agreeing with others who don’t have or have overcome this fear.

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