One of the first things we discover about the human race is that we all have opinions. At a first conflict, whether it is within a family, a friendship, or a marriage, it’s like we’re surprised to find that our views may clash with those of another. Each time, it seems like the weirdest thing; unexpected, and out of the blue. At times we encounter people whose opinions and ideas are so strong, they leave us in awe. We might hate what they have to say, but we give them respect for their gutsy attitude, and their strength.
And yet on Sunday, when a friend and I went out to purposely find conflict, to dig right into a big pile of strong opinions and differences, they were nowhere to be found.
We’re both Social 30-1 students in Ron Labrie’s class, given the task of creating a video about Canadian citizenship and ideologies. Our assignment was to ask members of the community what they pledge to do to be a better Canadian citizen. We figured the citizens of Ponoka would already be plagued with the questions of everyone else in the class, so Katrina Pylypow and I drove to Whyte Ave in Edmonton, where we were certain we’d find a good variety of people who just couldn’t wait to give us their two cents.
We were wrong.
We tried to target certain people. People who just had a certain air about them that said, “I am passionate about my beliefs. I will scream them in your face if I have to.” We managed to track down a loud, opinionated girl in the bookstore, who was hollering to her friend about this and that. She made excuses to us and eventually left. Right on. The next time you get the choice of pledging to make your country better or being “late for work,” I hope you choose correctly.
We found a young guy playing guitar on the street, singing his heart out, only to get the pledge to “continue smoking” from him. That was the best you could do? Are you serious? How on earth does that make you a better Canadian citizen?
Is anyone passionate about anything?
Although our trip helped us to work on our social project, it has truly shaken my faith in humanity. I have found my respect dwindling away for those who don’t know what they believe, or who are too proud to admit what they don’t know. We wanted to hear goals, passions, dreams – and we got lippy “humour” and a lack of eye contact. Katrina pointed this out to me. She said, “No one can come up with anything honest to tell us. They all have to think and fabricate some kind of idea.” I couldn’t agree more. All we seemed to find were pretenders. Nobody gave two hoots about making a difference.
There are many things that make me sick, like roller coasters or rancid butter, but the apathy of the people we questioned was far worse. It made me realize something that I will remember forever – it is important to give a care about your life, your world, or your country.
It’s important to make a difference.