Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Never Enough

Becoming politically involved in 2017 reminds me of when I was striving to be environmentally active -- I could never do enough, I felt I was never doing it right.

In the case of the environment I would be proud of my overflowing recycling bins, and compost bucket, as well as my hardly used trash containers.

But it wasn't enough.

I was excited when the grocery store started collecting plastic bags -- mind you I had long given up using plastic bags, but now the grocery store also collected the giant plastic used to wrap bulk piles of toilet paper and paper towels (buying in bulk is better, right?).

But it wasn't enough.

I bought a fuel efficient car nine years ago and still drive it (not buying a new car should be good). I couldn't afford the extra $5,000 for the Prius.

But it wasn't enough.

The more I tried to be good for the environment, there was always someone a couple of steps ahead of me making me feel shame because I was doing wasn't good enough. Instead of recognizing we are on the same side, only they are getting A+++s in the class and I am only getting a B+, or on a good day an A-, I felt I could never achieve those extra pluses and lost my enthusiasm.

Sure, I still recycle. My trash bucket is only filled six times a year (not the 1-2 times a year of the overachievers). I drop off my rags rather than throwing them out (only to learn now third world nations are overrun with our good deeds). I recycle my plastic at the grocery store. No matter what I did, I didn't feel worthy of calling myself an environmentalist.

I bring this up now because I have the same feelings about activism. 

I marched with millions of others around the world. But our marches were non-violent.

It wasn't good enough.

I sign petitions in the past I would have deleted.

It isn't good enough.

I attend a prayer vigil.

It isn't good enough.

I work up the courage to call my representatives. Before I do, I learn it isn't good enough.

What is good enough in this age? Showing up to stand in front of my senator's office. It is only an hour a week (plus a train fare, train ride, and other incidentals). 

Even this needs taking it up a notch: invite the media; if they don't show up immediately send them pictures, videos, and information about the event and hope they record it.

Meanwhile, I need energy to build my business, to encourage Don to find a new job, to help Ashley with school. 

I was feeling zapped yesterday and thought "tomorrow I will take the day off from thinking about politics."

Wrong answer.

Being able to take time off from the fight just shows my "white privilege." Therefore by doing nothing for a day and recharging I am not doing enough.

I would love it if one of my posts would go viral. Please share with others. Now more than ever, we need to support each other.

Anything we do, especially if it is more than we used to do, is good enough. It is a step towards improving. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. 

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