The ‘Don’t Pay Attention’ Strategy

A day doesn’t go by that I don’t receive what I would have called, years ago, a hyperbolic text.  The headlines read, “Depopulation is on its way” or “Get Used to having all your movements be controlled.”  But as grim as these prognostications seem, it’s hard to not recognize the signs which point to an increased inability to make decisions for ourselves, while someone else, behind the curtain, is doing that for us.

Whether it’s making sure that we won’t be able to purchase a gas-fueled car after 2030 or eat hamburgers or jump on a plane whenever we want, those freedoms, once enjoyed by us all, are slowly being eroded, and so it’s hard not to pay attention.

But “not paying attention,” is exactly what we are being asked to do.  During the recent U.S. elections, governors, mayors and other dishonest politicians flooded the media with their message that the rampant and ever-growing crime, much of it extremely violent, was not really happening.  It was, rather, being exploited and exaggerated by those running for office who were claiming that the incumbent had not done their job in keeping citizens safe.  It didn’t matter that on the same day that New York’s governor, Kathy Hochul was apparently unaware that six violent incidents had taken place on her watch, the very day that she assured her constituents that all was well, and no one had to worry.

Things are happening – things which never took place before, and those things are definitely all leading to a brand-new reality for us all.  To not pay attention to the foreboding signs is to hide one’s head in the proverbial sand, but to the peril of those who refuse to connect the dots.

Between the declarations of emergency on the Covid front, which no one in power seems any too anxious to end, or the trumped-up climate change doomsayers who tell us that we only have a few short years left before the world ceases to exist, there’s just no break from the bad news.  Add to all those other impending catastrophes, lack of food, supply chain problems, the threat of new pandemics, rogue nations flexing their muscles, the threatening collapse of currency or the overreach of government and big-tech coming together, and it’s not long before anyone with a pulse realizes that something has dramatically changed over the past three years.

Sure, all of these things were already taking place in 2019, but not to the extent that they are now, and not to the point where the frightening warnings of where this is leading are coming fast and furious.  Yet, we’re not supposed to pay attention, because if we do, those who are leading the charge to radical change will make sure to label you a conspiracy theorist, an alarmist or worse.

The intent is to lull us all into a false sense of well-being which refuses to notice anything, because if you refuse to notice, you can’t complain or express anxiety.  Those thoughts are only reserved for the suspicious, untrusting and uncompliant folks who kind of like the way things used to be and don’t want to be dragged screaming and kicking into a dystopic world where choices are no longer your own and faithful servitude to those in charge is required.

But how can we pretend that we’re not paying attention?  It’s pretty hard if you’ve been the victim of a violent crime or if you realize that you can no longer make ends meet or that censorship of thought and speech is not a real thing that is happening in order to further one narrative.

So, these days, it’s come down to this – most of us have two lists of friends, those to whom we send messages of shared sentiments, suspicions and concerns, and those to whom we immediately know not to dare forward such communications for fear of how they’ll react.

These, for the most part, are the same people who, for whatever reason, have chosen not to notice the vast changes which have taken place.  It’s likely that they feel those changes are not only justified but welcomed and needed.  There is no possibility of trying to convince them that these same changes will lead to an entirely corrupt system of massive control, regulation and loss of liberty, because they either don’t see it or don’t want to see it, but they will at some point, aided by their willingness to cooperate.

Once that happens, it will be impossible not to pay attention, because that strategy will have outlived its shelf life, and crying foul, at that point, will be much more complex and met with greater resistance, not by your friends this time, but rather by those who slowly but cleverly were successful in seizing power over everyone.

It sounds really bad, right?  That’s why it’s so important to have a healthy system of checks and balances where ordinary, everyday people have the ability to call balls and strikes – to reject, challenge and combat anything which will change the way of life that we enjoy, cherish and value.

That way of life includes freedom of speech, religion, print, the right to travel freely, the right to determine our own medical choices, the right to parent our children consistent with our values, the right to eat what we want, drive when we want and much more.

So, here’s the warning.  Pay attention! Don’t make the mistake of being lulled into a false sense of well-being, especially when the realities on the ground belie such unearned trust.  But more important than that, don’t refuse to speak for fear of being labeled crazy, extremist or a conspiracy theorist, because, although that may be a very uncomfortable price to pay, it will surely be less costly than the price of losing your freedom and having waited too long to notice in order to do something about it.

More than ever, paying attention is demanded in a fast-changing world which, in another 3-5 years, may look even more radical than it does today.  The time to say something is now, because if you don’t use your voice, you may lose your voice.

About the Author
A former Jerusalem elementary and middle-school principal and the granddaughter of European Jews who arrived in the US before the Holocaust. Making Aliyah in 1993, she is retired and now lives in the center of the country with her husband.
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