“I tried to tell you…”
Talked to a friend the other day. The extent of the conversation was along the lines that “we tried to tell all of you but you thought we were crazy”. And as I read the drafts from 4-5 years ago, the ones I never published, I think about how I wasn’t loud enough. How I didn’t say enough. But I also think about how no one wants to face what’s happening.
And the thing is that most won’t. Most will not have to make the hard choices. The ones that involve pointing a gun at someone or risk death ourselves. Or how many breaths to take to avoid suffocation. Or how many spoonfuls of powdered egg mix we can eat to avoid starvation Or if we light a candle to honour our people.
Most will carry on as always but a little bit differently. And a little more differenly. As they’ve changed ever so slightly in their ways over the past few years (and more). The changes have gone largely unnoticed. Or if they’ve been noticed, they have been explained away in their necessity.
I think the hardest part is knowing how many thought they were listening to their own good advice. How many thought they were doing something that made a difference. They read all the right things but acted on none of it. And now they dig in their heels to defend their participation in the thing that they’re fighting against. The very thing that they think they hate so much. But they’ve changed so slowly over time to become compliant that they believe the changes they’re allowed to make are acts of rebellion. Comfort in the devil you know, yes?
I keep asking myself if I tried hard enough. I don’t think I did. But watching how hard others try now… and how much others did then. Would it have mattered? I am no saviour. I am only one person. And at the time, too few people were on my side. And I couldn’t find many people who would stick around and follow through.
At the end of the day, we’re still trying. But now we’re not telling.