The All-Encompassing Influence of Politics

The words of Martha Gellhorn serve as a poignant reminder: to be disinterested in politics is to be disinterested in the very essence of our existence. Our world, our lives, and our futures are intricately bound to the political currents that flow around us.


6/1/20243 min read


It's a common refrain: "I'm not interested in politics." But as Martha Gellhorn, the esteemed novelist, points out, such a statement is akin to saying, "I’m not interested in my standard of living, my health, my job, my rights, my freedoms, my future…." The truth is, whether we realize it or not, politics seeps into every aspect of our lives. From the air we breathe to the food we eat, from the jobs we work to the rights we hold dear, politics plays a pivotal role.

The Intersection of Politics and Daily Life

At its core, politics is about the distribution of power and resources within a society. It shapes the policies that govern education, healthcare, infrastructure, and more. When we talk about politics, we're not just discussing elected officials and parliamentary debates. We're talking about the very framework that underpins our communities and our daily experiences.

Consider the air we breathe. The regulations on air pollution, the protection of natural reserves, and the promotion of sustainable energy sources—all of these fall under the purview of politics. Our health, too, is intricately linked to political decisions. The accessibility and affordability of healthcare, the approval of medications, and the funding for medical research are all influenced by political choices.

Even our jobs are not immune to political influence. From labor laws to minimum wage regulations, from workplace safety standards to unemployment benefits, the political landscape significantly shapes the working conditions and livelihoods of individuals.

Moreover, our rights and freedoms are safeguarded (or endangered) by political actions. The laws that protect freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press are all products of political processes. Similarly, decisions on civil rights, gender equality, and LGBTQ+ rights are deeply enmeshed in politics.

Looking ahead, the policies on climate change, technological advancements, and international relations will determine the kind of world we leave for future generations. Therefore, to say that one is not interested in politics is to disregard the very forces that mold our existence.

Empowerment Through Political Engagement

While the complexity of politics can be daunting, it's essential to recognize the power of individual engagement. Participation in the political process—be it through voting, advocacy, or community involvement—can shape the direction of our collective journey.

By staying informed about local and national issues, individuals can hold their representatives accountable and contribute to the formulation of policies that reflect their values. Through grassroots movements and activism, people have historically driven remarkable social and political transformations.

Moreover, diverse representation in politics is crucial for a robust and inclusive democracy. When individuals from varied backgrounds and experiences step into leadership roles, they bring forth a range of perspectives and priorities, enriching the decision-making process.

It's important to remember that politics is not confined to the corridors of power; it's woven into the fabric of society. Each voice, each action, and each vote can influence the course of political discourse and, in turn, shape the lived reality of people.

Overcoming Apathy: The Imperative of Involvement

Despite the undeniable impact of politics on our lives, there exists a pervasive sense of apathy and disillusionment towards political engagement. Cynicism about the efficacy of the system, disillusionment with elected officials, and a sense of powerlessness in the face of bureaucratic machinery often contribute to this disinterest.

However, it's precisely during such moments of disillusionment that the call for active participation becomes most urgent. Rather than being disheartened by the current state of affairs, it's crucial to channel that energy into constructive action. This could involve supporting candidates who embody integrity and progressive values, engaging in discussions that foster critical thinking, or mobilizing for causes that resonate with one's vision for the future.

Furthermore, nurturing a sense of community and solidarity can be a powerful antidote to political apathy. When individuals come together to address common concerns and envision shared aspirations, the collective impact transcends the sum of its parts. This sense of communal agency can reignite the spirit of active citizenship and rekindle hope for meaningful change.

Ultimately, the words of Martha Gellhorn serve as a poignant reminder: to be disinterested in politics is to be disinterested in the very essence of our existence. Our world, our lives, and our futures are intricately bound to the political currents that flow around us. Embracing this reality and actively engaging with it is not just a choice; it's a responsibility—a responsibility that holds the potential to shape a more equitable, just, and thriving society for all.

Photo By: Visuals