The Bystander

The Bystander


Complacency should be avoided,

is especially uncalled for in a situation where a paradigm shift is impending.

Tides as natural as those with which the moon is complicit

are in synchrony with the flow of steam through radiators,

of blood through veins, as the rhythms of sleep and consciousness.

It is our fate to be in contention.

It is the reason we ate that garden’s fruit in the first place,

why we aspired to build towers so tall

their aerials poked holes in the ionosphere.

But to have denied the impulse

was to have remained a child.

That entire story is an allegory

of escape

from the undifferentiated state.

Everything thus progresses

from the general to the specific.

Complexity follows simplicity as surely

as the number of choices increase,

and mutation, as a means of survival,

results in a multiplication of genes and their proteinaceous productions.

Even the syntax of our sentences becomes a complexity

that we must at pains disentangle.

We should therefore be alert to the changes,

to improve as much as to be imposed upon,

to be amongst those who are to make a difference.

So at the first sign of the impending crisis,

be not one who retreats into silence,

the bystander, the unmoving non-participatory observer.

For your voice is necessary. Raise it. Shout if you are able,

at the risk of failure, scorn, even imprisonment.

That is the moral imperative.