Russell Brand and his viral video outed him as a non-voter. His interviewer later outed himself as a non-voter at the last election. Do you vote?
Or do you think that there is not enough choice and calibre and anyway it will not make any difference?
Sitting in a pub or bar complaining about what is wrong with the country...it's them....they are all the same....they said they wouldn't do that and look at them now...etc. are great discussions and no doubt heated ones, but, sadly still apathetic.
Just last weekend when someone asked me what I was writing about in HuffPo this week, she basically went off on how wonderful Russell was and how she doesn't vote and it is not the job of people to educate themselves to be non-apathetic. Now I too think Russell is wonderful. I love his comedy and his passion. I loved what he wrote about drug addiction in The Guardian a while back. The man clearly has passion with vision and much opinion which are neither good nor bad, they simply are!
Voting was not always a right for everyone. Yet despite our ancestors fighting for this right, more and more people are choosing, or at least claiming to choose not to vote for reasons I described above. If that is your only political statement, it is a weak one. In the UK, no Government once in, coalition or not really cares for those who didn't vote.
Maybe it's me but making a statement is something that makes some kind of impact, a wave or at the very least a ripple, preferably more.
Yet when Russell and his new political brand and the likes of Jeremy Paxman say they don't vote, they have a political platform. You might say they have a place for their statement to be followed through. They have a place of influence.
Whether you agree or not with their political stance and there is a lot that Russell shared that is clearly popular, let's not forget popular can also be based on an illusion. Spiritually speaking an illusion stops you getting to the significance as you can't move beyond the appearance.
You cannot argue however that both men have a platform for potential change. What Russell will do with his is going to be interesting to watch!
For Brand to talk about redistributing wealth when his net worth is closer to those he claims are part of a problem is an interesting situation. The redistribution of wealth has a history that isn't exactly a bed of roses - so as the greatest minds of the past have not found a solution to the issue of wealth and poverty, I wonder what Russell has up his sleeve that is new and not something that has failed with appalling consequences in the past.
Of course I believe there is a third way. There is a new economics based on a far more spiritual and conscious revolution that is birthing, where abundance is for all and those who make profit are equally as welcome. It is just that those who understand it are not joining politics in a sustained and powerful way and you have to be in it to change it. You cannot isolate yourself from a system and era you wish to change, well you can but then change is near impossible.
Yet for all those who helped the Brand/Paxman video go viral and say Brand spoke what they were thinking...well the Governments you claim who are not doing what you are thinking is exactly the same energetically. Just different sides of the same coin, why is it someone speaks for you or against you, do you not believe you have a voice?
Controversial as it may sound but apathy, be it not voting or voicing or both holds up a status quo which cannot be changed as apathy is inert. Political change needs people. If you don't vote, well energetically you have opted out and stated you are helpless and that energy feeds the beast you secretly want to slay or have slayed on your behalf.
Revolution for the sake of revolution is a tiring idea. Structures are ripe for evolution and transformation, old ways are not sustainable but hand in hand with that comes the truth that we are individually responsible for being part of that change too. Change that takes everyone to a higher good and that is distinctly different to saying the rich are wrong, profit is corrupt. Of course there are examples of greed but that is possible across the strata of all people, it doesn't make it right but equally I cannot stomach the idea that all on benefits are scroungers. Again same coin, different sides and just an illusion and tit for tat position.
However change on national and let's face it we are talking global level change requires willing participants to lead from within.
Voting is of course not the only answer for change alone as apathy is a lack of involvement too.
A great example of apathy in reverse, where passion and involvement created change was in the UK when a certain coffee house was shirking their tax responsibility. People voted with their feet and the business knew that there was no place to go other than to stop the incredible and blatant tax evasion.
There is power within each of us to be part of the change. If you are choosing not to vote, be sure you are doing it consciously and not to look cool. As it is one way you get a voice. In a democracy it is essential you have a voice and if you feel you haven't then it is time to create the platform, join the community and who knows maybe join politics as change from within rather than around a dinner table while quaffing wine is the most powerful.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
About the author
Sarupa Shah is an award-winning entrepreneur and mentor. She is the founder of The Soul Agency, working with entrepreneurs and leaders to instigate real change in our approach to modern life; putting consciousness back on the agenda. Sarupa speaks, coaches and runs workshops and study programmes across the globe which inspire people to tap into their own inner power. Sarupa is a published author of the no.1 best seller - The Art of Affirmations and The Heart Centred Entrepreneur (both available on Kindle via Amazon)