There’s something beautiful and safe about being humble, but I’m learning not to mistake humility for complacency. My eyes have been opened to the world of injustices and part of it makes me want to take action, but most of it just pisses me off. I’m watching several friends juggle the career/kid balance and it’s simply not fair. My own experiences with FMLA during my husband’s battle with cancer were decent…until we lost the $30,000 work-issued life insurance policy when FMLA ran out only a couple weeks before his death. At the time, money meant nothing, I didn’t care, I just wanted him back. But looking back on that time, 12 weeks was not long enough for an emergency such as ours.
There are so many things going on in this world that it’s difficult for me to know which battles are worth fighting. My volunteerism with our local community group objecting to a proposed 42″ natural gas pipeline has brought me to a bit of a crossroads. I don’t want this project to rip up our land and put an explosion threat so close to so many homes and schools. But I’m also wondering if what we’re doing is enough to make any real changes. Yet, if I do nothing, I’ll know that I’ll never have closure to know we tried and either failed or won. I have to try.
My heart is one of an activist; I can think back to my elementary school days when I wanted to start a recycling club but just never had the right tools or know-how to get it done. I had great aspirations then, as I do now. I’ve always loved a good underdog story and want to protect those who can’t protect themselves. I like advocating for the causes I believe in. When I had no money, I gave time, now that I have a little money, I give time AND money. But time costs a lot more than I ever imagined. It leads to burnout.
I wish there were more people in this world that could give their time to help in causes they believe in. And I wish they would step up when they felt called, but I know many do not for so many reasons: fear, time, reputation, stigma. In being taught to be humble, I though that meant blending in, not speaking out, holding your tongue. I honestly believes it’s more about not taking pride in the things you do, but somewhere along the line I believed it meant not doing certain, especially controversial things, because you don’t want to stick out. I guess I’m sick of that. I’m OK with sticking out if it’s something I believe in. Even when I know others are on a very different side of an argument.
There has to be people that agree to speak out to say “yes, this is unacceptable and I don’t want to keep allowing this to happen” so that people’s human rights do not get taken away. I don’t own a gun, yet I completely understand why people want the right to do so because frankly, the power of the government kind of freaks me out as well. The power the government has to take away all of our rights and to restrict us from freedoms afforded to us in the constitution is downright scary.
And that argument plays out in how we care for our family and things we do and own. I see it across the board: this overreach of power to control us and I hate it. I’m a very independent person and while I don’t always know best, I do things with the best intentions and moral comprehension. I don’t believe the government holds those same interests.
I encourage you in the next month, in fact I challenge you, to take an action on something that you feel is an injustice. Volunteer, write a letter to the editor, write or meet with your government officials, attend a protest, donate some money – do an action to protect those who are impacted by that injustice. I’d love to hear what you chose to do and how it made you feel afterwards. And if you’re interested, I’d love you to share it in a guest blog right here.