The Red Pill
Updated: Jan 20
With the latest installment of the Matrix franchise now out, I am reminded of the famous scene in the original movie when Neo was given the option to choose between the red and the blue pills. As you might recall, the blue pill represented ignorant bliss and would allow Neo to continue living a mindless, yet normal life controlled by the matrix. Whereas the red pill represented enlightenment and knowledge of the matrix and the control it had over every aspect of his life. Obviously, Neo chose the red pill and began a lifelong struggle to free himself and others from the control of the matrix, but he also created a multi-billion-dollar movie franchise that still entertains us to this day.
Not to be overly dramatic but we are faced with the red pill blue pill narrative every day. From the time we get up and turn on our iPhones (okay maybe your Samsung or Google phones) to check our social media applications, we are choosing between the ignorant bliss of the blue pill versus the total awareness of the red pill. Ignorant bliss (or just ignorance) speaks for itself, but total awareness involves a commitment to do something. With awareness, there is an expectation that you will be a part of producing a tangible deliverable that makes a positive and lasting difference. But the consequences of knowledge and awareness is also knowledge of the struggle it will take to change something from negative to positive. The knowledge of the hunger, despair, and general suffering around the world can be so overwhelming that it can make one decide the blue pill is a better option. A decision that the character Cypher made when he betrayed Neo and the rest of the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar. He grew tired of the work it took to fight the Matrix and by his betrayal, gave up and welcomed the blue pill! (Plus he just wanted to taste a good steak)
Climate change, political turmoil, social injustice, hunger, illiteracy, human trafficking, a worldwide pandemic, and many other issues affecting the world and our country are real. The length of the list alone makes the issues and problems seem overwhelming and impossible to deal with, let alone solve. By default, we have been forced to take the red pill of awareness and now must choose to stay in the struggle or choose to spend time looking for the blue pill in hopes that it will make it all just goes away. Unfortunately, many are doing just that, wasting valuable time and brain cells denying the reality of the problems we are facing and hoping they just go away. But the reality is that the blue pill option is not an option now (if it ever was), and we must deal with the extensive list of issues and concerns that we face not only as a nation, but as the human race!
In many of my essays, I repeat a saying I know to be true, "the first step in solving a problem is to recognize you have a problem". Some people think they have the option to choose the blue pill of ignorance or the red pill of reality. But I would argue that option is a nonstarter, and we must all realize and recognize we all share these common realities; we must change in order to deal with the problems we are facing, and the struggle for change is no longer coming, it has arrived! I chose the red pill long ago and have the scars and pain of rejection, intolerance, ignorance, and failure to prove it. But as an eternal optimist and Man of Faith, I know the result of the struggle for change will be good and all will be well.