As the tweeny-something was ringing up my purchase at the electronic box store on Saturday, I conversationally inquired whether the store would be open on Sunday, what with the storm coming and all. He replied, "Oh, there is going to be a storm tomorrow?"

After explaining that there was a tropical storm bearing down on the SouthCoast and that dire warnings of potential death and property loss were being beamed out all over cyberspace, he uttered, "Oh, I'm off tomorrow so I don't really care."

As someone whose livelihood depends upon his awareness of the world around him, it amazes me just how out of touch some people can be – and they seem to like it that way.

Get our free mobile app

It suddenly occurred to me that if this young man is unaware of the goings-on in his immediate environment, how likely is it that he knows that his fellow Americans are trapped behind enemy lines in a place called Afghanistan, or if he can even find Afghanistan on a map? Does he even care?

We all know people like this, the uninformed or the under-informed. The great Rush Limbaugh referred to them as low information voters. Sometimes it frustrates me that these folks seem to care more about Kim Kardashian's problems than the problems facing their own country. Other times I think maybe we're better off if they stay out of it.

I do believe, however, that we are blessed to be Americans. As such, we have a responsibility to be engaged in preserving our great nation for future generations. We have an obligation to those who came before us to do our best, and that requires participation, not leaving it to others to bear the burden.

The time has come for all Americans to wake up, get focused, and engage before the country we inherited from our forefathers is lost forever.

Get your head out of your you-know-what and do your bit. There are no free rides.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

LOOK: Westport Man Creates Massive Sand Sculptures on Cherry and Webb Beach

Richard Huggins has been creating sand sculptures for the past 45 years and uses SouthCoast beaches as his canvas.