By Salomon Maya
Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.”
If asked that question, which class would you belong to?
As I write this article, our nation has endured so much this year, which has just culminated in one of the most divisive elections ever seen in American history. Now let me be clear, I am not a historian or a scholar. I will never claim to be. I am just a 40-year-old nobody with a voice.
But aren’t we all? (Of course, changing each person’s age.)
We currently exist in a world inundated by information from faceless characters on social media who have flooded our brains with opinion masquerading as information. Gone is the next day meetup at the office water cooler and in its place a worldwide ocean of commentary hiding behind aggressive keystrokes. Original thought is now regulated only to the typing heads I choose to follow.
Do I think this is a bad thing? No. I don’t think it’s a healthy thing, though.
Do I truly need to know what Jim0478332 from Idaho thinks about anything? To be honest, I truly don’t know how to feel anymore. Aren’t we all at that point in 2020 now? The thought terrifies me.
This year has been incredibly tough for every one of us. If you’ve lost someone close to the virus, my heart is with you and your family. If you’ve lost a source of income again I pray for a quick economic recovery. Even if the only thing you’ve lost is hope and optimism, I know that soon that overwhelming feeling of dread will subside and the sun will shine again.
At the beginning of this article I asked you a question. Which class in Franklin’s quote are you? Are you immovable? Are you moved? Or are you the one who moves?
Now I’m going to do something which many of you might deem as sacrilege.
I’m going to add something to Ben Franklin’s wise words. I will add a fourth class to his original classes. The indifferent. So the immovable, the moved, the mover, and the indifferent. And it’s this last class which I believe is most dangerous. Whether you choose to never fray from your position in 2020 and beyond I at least can honor the fact that you have chosen a side. And I honor that. If you chose to be a pawn in this world and move where and when it’s most convenient to you or whoever you’ve chosen to be your personal puppet master, then so be it. Let your body move and flow with the figurative waves of this ocean we’re swimming in. And if you have chosen to move the pieces in your favor. I applaud you. But always remember that with this type of power, one should always add a sprinkle of empathy and humbleness to balance the ever-tilting pulling of the siren song named power and influence.
However, to the indifferent. I do not pity you. I do not understand you. I do not choose to be you. The beauty of being human is having an opinion and voicing it. The same beauty of being human is choosing whose opinion I decide to listen to. Whether that be Ben Franklin, someone at the office water cooler or Jim0478332 from Idaho.