You don’t believe in what Facebook does, but you’re on the site because it’s occasionally useful – you’re complicit. 

You sit on public transport with other people and witness someone abusing someone else without saying anything – you’re complict

A friend says something homophobic, or misogynistic but you don’t challenge them because you don’t want to have an argument – you’re complicit 

Your company doesn’t recycle, or really care about the environment but you don’t say anything, even though you care – you’re complicit

You buy someone a drink or dessert when they have a drinking or eating issue – you’re complicit

You overlook a company’s track record and invest anyway, because it’ll make you money – you’re complicit.

There are so many ways of being complicit, we all do it. There are so many grades of complicit-ness. A Nazi who committed war crimes may well have simply been forced to be complicit, because of fear. Someone who overlooks corruption in Africa to protect their family, because if you aren’t complicit, things could end very badly.

Silence can be very loud indeed. Governments don’t say things about other governments, just because they don’t want to create issues. We tolerate Trump, the Queen sees him and Boris sucks up to him. That’s complicit. By association, you condone.

What are your values? Do you want to be remembered as staying true to them? What lengths would you be willing to go to to defend your beliefs? Some take the ultimate stand (warning, these pictures are shocking).

It’s so easy just to go along with things that don’t feel right. To be complicit. We all do it.

We’re complicit… and it’s not good enough.

3 thoughts on “Complicit

  1. Hey Tom – thanks for this. We are all complicit and as well as acknowledging this I really feel we must have compassion for ourselves and others. That is what it is to be bound together in a web of interdependence. We need to better understand how to treat each other with kindness and care, do what we can to expose exploitation (when we are doing it, as well as others) – but we should be compassionate – when calling it out. Being overwhelmed with guilt only adds to the problem, as we can’t face the enormity of it. And we must. Stay strong, brave and compassionate!

    1. Could’t agree with you more. I wanted to pen my thoughts on being complicit, knowing full well that I am too, in many things and generally I am compassionate about my failings. In this case, I’m most interested in the idea that people don’t take responsibility, or understand their accountability.

      The point you make would be a good separate post about what we can do, what we can’t do. I have one brewing within me about the environmental movement, which is generally screaming that everyone is complicit, and leaving us all feeling guilty, rather than having compassion for why people make the choices they do and then working with that compassion for change. TBD. Watch this space… just not too closely. Much love, Tom

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