Opinion by Tony Orman
Greek philosopher Plato once observed, “The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil men.”
Take “evil” in the broader sense. You might use “corrupt”, “arrogant” or some other adjective. You might even use the word “undemocratic”. Either way, public indifference results in poor policy making and decisions that ignore the public interest.
Democracy is the very foundation of our society and that’s why we have democratic elections where every three years political parties and MPs are held to account. There’s an election later this year in case you weren’t aware.
People need to speak up. But there’s a strange reticence among people to speak out. Anyone who does so often becomes labelled as a “stirrer” that is often tagged with a four letter word meaning excreta in front of the title “stirrer.” These critics are often inertia personified as Theodore Roosevelt one of the greatest US presidents wrote about:-
It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though chequered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in that grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
Another great man Winston S Churchill said “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”
© Theodore Roosevelt – Critics don’t count because “they live in that grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”