“Who sleeps in democracy, wakes up in dictatorship.”

Some days ago I stumbled on a poster with that sentence. I don’t know who said this, but it’s a reminder to all of us about what’s at stake when you fail to fight for your rights. Apathy and inaction are two choices that any informed and concerned society doesn’t have. If we want better lives, both socially and economically, for us and for our children, then we cannot sit in conformity waiting for things to get better. Sadly, I feel that this is exactly what happens in Macedonia.

I’ve been living in Macedonia for four years and in this period I cannot recall a single rally that gathered more than a few hundred people. The majority of the Macedonian society just doesn’t care, at least not enough to go out on the streets and stand for what they believe. Everyone seems to expect problems to solve themselves; everyone seems to think that their voice cannot make a difference.

I understand this deficit of democratic culture in Macedonia: we’re talking about a very young democracy, especially because never in the History of Macedonia there was a free democratic state in which people had the right to participate, to protest, to be heard. These things aren’t learned in a generation, or two. Even so, it is time for Macedonians to realize that they have the power to influence and change the course of events. A participative and informed civil society is the foundation of a developed country.

I don’t mean by this that Macedonia is heading towards a dictatorship (even though the new Law on Electronic Communications is something we should worry about); what I want to say is that apathy is a dangerous path, that leads nowhere good. Macedonia is at a crossroad, stuck between a distant past and a future that at times seems even more distant, and the decisions made now will make or break its future as a developed country, both economically and socially. It is up to us, to all of us, to step up and make a difference. The price of our apathy will be too high for Macedonia to pay.

Текстот е на граѓанин на Европската унија кој моментално живее и работи во Скопје.