You're reading a newspaper editorial. That's a hopeful sign. Although it means we're only preaching to the converted: the people who really need to read this are too busy gawking at photos of a naked Prince Harry, or OMG-ing about ‘Chavril' (look it up - or better yet, don't).
There's no nice way to put this. We're becoming shallow.
Not all of us, of course, and even shallow people can be kind, generous, loving and good. But if the media we surround ourselves with is any indicator, many of us care a lot - too much - about very silly things.
From pollution to the economy, medical care to cyber-security, the world is getting more complicated at an exponential rate. As near as we can tell, the response of most people is to give up. Retreat. Cocoon with technology, secure in the false belief that hearing about something and registering surprise, outrage or joy - "I clicked ‘Like'!" - is the same as actually being an actor on the world stage.
There's nothing wrong with fun. We like swamp people grinning gapped-tooth smiles at us from the TV as much as the next person. And we agree with all the yadda-yadda about technology's power to affect change.
Except that's not what most of us are doing with this wonderful, digital power. Most of us are reading fart jokes and spamming pictures of puppies in tutus.
If you start paying attention, though, you get a glimpse behind the wizard's curtain: The people pulling the strings don't always have your best interests at heart, and they certainly don't have the answers. They're busy playing strip billiards with Prince Harry, or partying backstage with Chavril. They're people. Flawed people. They won't save us. Many won't even save themselves.
It's time to grow up. The freebie fairy won't solve the debt crisis, political promises will rarely materialize, and the only way the future will be better is if we make it that way.
Municipal elections are coming in October. Vote. Volunteer with a campaign. Run for office. And don't just join the conversation. Talk is cheap. Pick up a shovel.