I’m lazy. I don’t want to fight. But if I don’t fight, then someone else is working to remold my reality.
I need to stand up to injustice and distinguish what’s not right. I might not be able to change someone else’s behavior, but I can try to have a discussion, to engage, to protest, to challenge. What makes you think that’s a good idea? Why do you do that? Why do you think that?
The neighbor who leaves the bag of dog waste on the sidewalk. What makes you think that’s a good idea? Do you think maybe disposing your dog’s litter in a trash can might be what a responsible dog-owner does?
The manager who tries to diminish your worth and stifle your opinions.
The president who makes false claims on a daily basis to impose his warped worldview to shape a false reality. You have to recognize and declare this is not okay. This is wrong, false, distorted, “fake”.
Simultaneously, you have to mind your values and remind yourself of the absolute truth. This is what you believe in. I would fight for these values. If I don’t stand up, argue, and advocate, then my beliefs wash away in the noise. They become silent background.
I bemoan that I’m pushed to do this. I definitely have taken privilege and freedom for granted in my life. I may have missed a military draft, because no wars required it while I was eligible, but I’m feeling a civil war emerging. I believe it’s a war about decency and respect. Civilization.
I’m an American-born white male with no religious affiliation. Quite a few income brackets higher, and on paper I should have no beef with the newly-elected president. I don’t feel threatened by an aggressive pussy-grabbing, science-denying, culture hater (including Muslims, Mexicans, African-Americans, and people with disabilities). But my values feel attacked and those need to be defended.
While we don’t have a lot of disposable income, I felt the need this year to support causes that defend my values including truth in journalism, respect for women and different races and cultures, and truth in science.
The money we donate is nominal and frankly does not feel very effective, but I tell myself that every little action helps to solidify the world we’re bolstering.
Every week for the next 208 weeks (or sooner if there’s an impeachment), I vow to be vigilant. To challenge injustice when I see it. To engage when meaningful. To nourish understanding. In work, community, and the world. To do numerous small actions that add up to something. I have no ulterior motives except to live with myself in good conscience.
My greatest fear is doing nothing and letting others significantly transform the perception of what’s real.
Today I march.