Get Off Your Duff & Don’t Rest on Your Laurels


This the story of Duff & Laurel*, a rather apathetic and passive couple who slog through life unenthusiastically.

As a young woman, Laurel had been involved in a community action group which was organized to get a smoking ban enacted in her home town.  After the town council passed the anti-smoking ordinance, Laurel felt contented and satisfied that she’d accomplished something important.

Unlike Laurel, Duff has never been involved in any activism and has no desire to do so in the future.
Because they are both so passive, it is a miracle that Duff & Laurel ever got together in the first place.  But, as luck would have it, they did manage to find one another on an online social networking website where they became “friends.”

After interacting online for a few months, Duff & Laurel discovered they share a common enthusiasm for kvetching about the failures of our sociological, economic, and political systems.   Although they don’t appear to have a plan to SOLVE the problems they complain about, they’re ecstatic to have an opportunity to CRUSH solutions posed by others.

In Duff”s mind, there is no point in trying to change the system because things are too far gone.  He scoffs at any ideas offered that might improve the situation.  Duff is convinced that no amount of rallying, protesting, marching, etc., will change our downward trajectory.

On the other hand, Laurel feels her youthful involvement in the anti-smoking action was enough to last a lifetime.  In her opinion, she has paid her dues, put in her time and now expects someone else to take up the slack.  When she is reminded there is more work to be done, Laurel defensively recounts her former accomplishments and demands respect for her previous activism.

By now you may be wondering why I am sharing the sad, sad tale of Duff & Laurel.  You may think you do not personally know them, but I think they should seem familiar to everyone who has ever written a comment or post encouraging action to make positive social and/or political change:

 

  • Duff is that person who tells you your efforts are a big waste of time.  He (or she) refuses to get off his duff and do something about global warming, rising income inequality, joblessness, voting rights, worker’s rights, corporatism, etc., and,
  • Laurel has had past experience participating in rallies, marches and protests, and thus is battle weary.  She (or he) would prefer to rest on her laurels than to get back in the trenches again — no matter how dire the situation.

The point of this story is to make you laugh at those infuriating people who love to take the wind out of your sails — who won’t get off their duffs and help us change the world, or who’ve been there and done that and now want to rest on their laurels.

The end.

*This story is fictional and is not based on the real Duff & Laurel whose wedding video I found on YouTube when I Googled “Duff and Laurel”

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