Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Passing the buck

Are you like me tired of receiving all those emails or forwards that fill up your inbox folders?

Do you receive forwarded emails which usually include a useless urban legend, a photo of someone driving a car into a river or a hate message about some group.

Why on earth would any person forward such messages is beyond my comprehension. Did someone really believe that I am interested to learn how to prevent someone from stealing my kidney when I am at a party (I am the party type anyway; it is hard to with 4 children)?

Another type of forwards are those daily emails from CAIR, MPAC, MAS, ACLU, MoveOn.org, Interfaith Alliance, and tons of others activist groups? Actually, many might not even be subscribed to such lists, but receive them as forwards from others.

The problem is that many of us are just forwarding without taking any action. Of course, we convince ourselves that we are busy or that our voice or action is not going to make a difference. But to avoid guilt, we just forward.

This is a symptom of a bigger problem. My theory is that many people are not sufficiently intellectually stimulated anymore. We are not busy doing serious and hands-on activities to help society at large. We as a human race are replacing real activism with arm chair behind the computer active forwarding. No one writes letters to the editor anymore. No one visits or even calls their member of Congress or city hall to express a view. No one protests on the streets. No one wants to meet and organize people over political or social issues. At best, we forward a good article, an action alert, or a strongly opinionated comment to our small circle of friends. That's it. We have done our part. That's what we believe to be the extent of our moral and social responsibility toward our society or world.

The Internet and computers might very well be one of our most useful inventions in modern times. However, those great tools are guilty of turning us into a nation that forwards its social activism to others, in a passing the buck manner, in the hope that someone will act upon it. Until each one of us (or at least most of us) realize that the buck stops here, with each one of us, I am not betting my buck on any change (anyway, betting is Haram).

Meanwhile, please do not forward to me anymore emails about the Bill Gates/AOL giveaways.
(it is an urban legend!! http://www.snopes.com/info/top25uls.asp)

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