Thursday, September 29, 2011

Our Indifference about "Pension Reform" or Breaking a Contract

We define indifference as a lack of interest, an unimportance or insensibility. As the Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel states: “[It] is more dangerous than anger and hatred.” We might add that indifference courts a complicit relationship with political and social injustices and that, conversely, these injustices owe their success and power to indifference.

We know the cousins of indifference are weakness and fear; we know if we choose to be indifferent, we also relinquish our constitutional rights and benefits. So how do we asphyxiate our apathy and abnegation? How do we disable them? Is one possible answer to such questions our need to become responsible for not only our future but for the future of others?

Political and social indifference is an overwhelming enigma. Nevertheless, each one of us can make a difference. The road to caring about our future begins with our comprehension of any legislative injustice that will affect retired and current teachers and other public employees in Illinois. It begins with our compassion and empathy for those citizens who will suffer the consequences of an unconstitutional prejudicial theft.

Our most effective responses to this possibility remain our concerted actions to protect and secure our constitutional rights and benefits; to educate our colleagues, friends and neighbors about this attempted assault on our contracts; and to un-elect the liars and thieves in the Illinois General Assembly who support "pension reform," instead of addressing the state's revenue and pension debt problems.

"Indifference is never creative... Indifference elicits no response. Indifference is not a response. Indifference is not a beginning, it is an end. And, therefore, indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor -- never his victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten" (Wiesel, The Perils of Indifference).

-Glen Brown

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