I do my small part: voting, educating myself, limiting single-use plastics, limiting my consumption of red meat, speaking up. We put up solar panels. We're getting an electric car. But that's nothing. Nothing in comparison to the need out there; which is overwhelming to hear about, to read about, to know about. How do you reconcile the two?
Anders and I just watched 13th, an excellent documentary about the prison system in the United States and the nation's history of racial inequality. Almost all of it was about things I have seen before, watched on television, read about. The fact that so little changes, so slowly, for so many, is heartbreaking and rage-inducing. And I'M PRIVILEGED. I have the choices so very many people lack.
Every nature documentary we watch (and we watch a lot) hammers home the devastating effects of climate change and the brink we are teetering on, and the tiny, little, things we do in the face of it make me cringe sometimes with their futility. I know that every little bit helps, that changing our behavior, in even small ways, helps, but faced against the huge need for massive systemic change, it seems like such tiny drops that make no real difference in the ocean of catastrophe that seemingly looms.
I don't talk much here about my political views, my stances on hot-button big issues; there are plenty of people out there doing a much better job of that, of articulating my side, for me. I tell people if they ask, what I think. I tell them sometimes even if they don't, if I think they need to hear it. But I often feel I am preaching to the choir. There are so many things to fix, in so many places, so many ways that humans make our own work so much harder. It's depressing. It's frustrating. It's hard to take.
But it doesn't mean I'm off the hook. My privilege is exactly the place from which I must speak. Exactly the place where I stand, and where I hold. If no one speaks up, what then? We let the awful things win. And that's simply not acceptable. So I look for the daily good things. I do my small part. I educate myself and speak up. I hope you do, too.
We might all be little Davids, kicking dust at Goliath's feet, but enough of us, kicking hard enough, doing what needs to be done...we'll prevail. Won't we? We don't have time to fix everything. Maybe we just have time to learn to use a slingshot.