April 6, 2008

Hakuna Matata

"Sometimes in life bad things happen, and you can't do anything about it right?"
"WRONG! When the world turns its back on you - you turn your back on the world!!!"
"That's not what I was told"

"Well then maybe you need a new lesson!"

Hakuna Matata: the ultimate nonsensical disney-derived phrase, competing with such words as
bibbity bobbity boo, and

The fact of matter is that Hakuna Matata has become not only a goofy disney catch-phrase, but has also become an underlying philosophy in the way that people are responding to any mishaps that affects them directly, or major problems in the world around them, which will impact them indirectly.

Simba "finally got some sense knocked into him - and the bump to prove it", but there are many young, non-lion species all around the world that are choosing (or are forced to choose) to live by this laxidasical manner in their every day lives. The "No worries" philosophy seems to be today's solution to every problem, every mistake.

The mistakes
It's hard to get through an entire day without saying or doing something that may have potentially offended someone. When you stop to correct your mere misstep, the person usually responds "No Worries!" before you even have the chance to clarify or apologize for whatever faux pas you said or did in the first place. This could includes the the mistake of bumping somebody's foot in the desk next to you, brushing your bag against them when getting off of the bus, taking the last nacho or finishing the last of the jug of beer without consulting your mates first.

Since these are very small infractions for the most part, this Hakuna Matata attitude isn't really a big deal. I mean, forgive and forget, right? Or Shit Happens, as Gump might say. But at the same time, maybe more due dilligence or consideration is required from each of us and as a result, these thoughtless mishaps would happen less.

Using due dilligence, or shall we say..."Giving A Damn' " can be a hard thing to do for a largely apathetic population of youngsters facing a vast amount of challenging problems in their future. But the one thing I have going for me now in continuing to actually care and resisting apathy is that society is more aware now than ever of the enormity of the issues that need addressing. Also, 30, 60, 100, 1000 years ago there were still people out there trying to solve some of these problems, who did not just put there head in the sand. I think that getting used to accepting the "shit happens" ideology for incidental things like when we are mistakenly charged an extra $2 in bank fees one month, then we are not far off from accepting this attitude for bigger issues that are out there.

The problems
Timon and Pumbaa showed that really, life can be a beautiful thing if you go through it with a "problem-free philosophy", and just go through life looking for your next "grub".

This "grub" is a symbol of the human necessity of satisfying our needs despite how slimy the path may be in achieving them. We let things go unsaid, we turn blind eyes, we find that path of least resistance, we ask no questions and seek no answers. Our decisions to put it on auto-pilot and let the days drive themselves, believing that we, as individuals, have negligible impact on the world is sad, unavoidable, yet increasing at higher rates than ever, thanks to popular culture dictating what we need to be happy.

So instead, we say to ourselves that when something goes wrong, it will work itself out eventually.
no worries

The next thing you know, you're living in a city facing an obesity epidemic in which water or energy privatization has left you cold and in the dark and murder rates are the highest in the country. Well maybe Edmonton doesn't meet one of these criteria, but with time & continual inaction of an apathetic electorate, it certainly won't take long to meet the other few.

Many of us are just surviving paycheque to paycheque, and feel no duty to look out for anything more than our immediate family's well-being. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, in its own right. The problem lies in the fact that out of the 6.6 billion people on earth, nearly 3 billion people live on less than $2/day. That's a lot of people. There is not very much that a family of 4 living on one income can do in their day-to-day lives that would help change the lives of that family of 4 living 3000 miles or 30 miles away after all, right?

Maybe we could vote for a different government (aka: that body that is supposed to regulate the well-being of society's helpless) But with 42% of the population making up the popular vote, this will not likely have any impact, especially if those who really need the help are the one's that aren't even able to get to polling stations on election day to vote for the help they need. But Hakuna Matata right? Instead corporate money buys governments and dictates where money will be spent. These big multi-nationals will take their tax break or subsidy then boast at improving the economies and livelihoods of those poorest in the world, despite their continual exploitation of millions of people worlds away. So apathy is hard to avoid for even the biggest optimist, knowing that there are people that Just Don't Care - Hakuna Matata - and knowing that money buys governments.

So Get Angry, Kids. I mean, seriously. This apathetic and impassive attitude of human beings is really starting to piss me off. Our fear of upsetting people, our apathetic attitudes, and our blissful ignorance of world issues has led us to tip-toe around every moral or social issue there is. If I had it my way, I would higher more baboons to knock us all on the head with a stick. Maybe then we would wake up & fight for what's right!

"The Arid Torpor of Our Inaction Will Lead Us To Our Demise"
-bad religion, 2002

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