This isn’t a considered and nuanced post with researched and edited points. It’s Old School Blogging: brain dumping, hitting publish, and consequences be damned. Sorry not sorry. So read on at your own risk!
How do I exist in a world where working to make incremental progress towards decreasing oppression and improving our knowledge about health (research), working to directly provide needed service (heath care) and working to teach approaches skills to empower more people to do this work (education) doesn’t seem even close to adequate?
How can I give the requisite focus to these areas of need– which are real!– when it feels like everything’s on fire about twice a week? Somehow we’re in the suffering olympics, where now I worry about people IN THIS COUNTRY held in inhumane conditions in camps for the crime of trying to get a better life. And access to abortion is deeply, and continuously, threatened, especially for poor people. And women can give credible, heartbreaking testimony about being assaulted, and their assailants can be confirmed to the supreme court anyway. And mass shootings at fucking schools are now reported as “another one.” And lying is expected, and everywhere, and impossible to combat. Somehow, all of this is filtered politically to the degree that people forget that THESE ARE ALL PEOPLE. With mothers, and hearts, and souls, and eyes, and assholes, just like you. This isn’t OK. None of this is OK. But there are people in power who are actively pursuing these courses of action, and I cannot understand why. I really, honestly don’t get it. What are they after? What do they need that they don’t have? What are they afraid of??
So what do I do? I can’t walk away from my work and say “sorry, some other suffering is currently more important that yours”. I can’t just shout into the echo chamber of my social media that I don’t approve of what’s happening. I can’t just throw money at groups that are trying to help ease the pain. I’m not a psychic, but I know my history, and I’m pretty sure we’re headed down a shitty road and that sending a few extra provisions isn’t going to help us turn around. I try to live my life day to day as a decent human, but I fuck up, and we all do, sometimes. I sometimes show up at protests to be counted. I try hard to pay attention to the ways that my actions oppress other people. I write to my senator and whatnot. So what’s left? How do I stop the madness without forsaking the less urgent but still very necessary stuff that I’m doing at work? Part of me says, burn it down. Throw yourself into the line of fire and personal consequences be damned. Fight, and don’t worry about getting hurt or arrested or whatever happens. But I don’t know. Then I’m back to forsaking the work that I know I can help with, in my day to day. Or is that a cop out?
This would be the part of the post where I usually come to some kind of point, something thoughtful and introspective, and then make it actionable. But I got nuthin’. Do you? Seriously, what do you do? I’d like to know.