Yes, there's a lot wrong with the world -and yes it's all inter-connected and very resistant to change. So sometimes the small things that we do seem futile and too little, too late. And oh yes, that gets to me sometimes. It's been getting to me a lot lately.
But let's examine the evidence. Things have changed. In the past year, I've started this blog, which fulfills a minor wish I had to do this kind of writing. And through this blog, I've re-located old friends, strengthened relationships with other friends, and made new ones. And if I know one thing from social work, it's that connections among people make the difference every time.
I've reduced my shopping at Wal-Mart, and thank heavens for that. (For the record, the bet with the boy-child that we would be at Wal-Mart fifteen times before Christmas -he is SO losing.) I'm buying much more locally and at cooperative-type places. I've signed on to be part of Community Supported Agriculture. I've switched to fair trade coffee -and thank Green LA Girl for that. I've reconnected with the political process, writing and calling my representatives somewhat more often than I had been. (And apparently so have other people been, or the Patriot Act and the Anti-Torture amendment would have met with different fates.)
No question, there's still a lot to do. But love resides in the will. (Who said that? Kant, I think.) It's a decision we make. And once the decision is made, actions follow. Yesterday I made the decision to reclaim my faith. Getting the actions and the emotions to fall nicely in line will be the project of a lifetime. Yet the decision was to love, knowing ahead of time that I'll be hurt occasionally, because NOT loving hurts more. Not loving sends me down a path I don't want to walk.
So, the parallel in social justice activism is to be the miracle. Be the change you wish to see. (HA! I know that one. It's Gandhi.) Just for today, let's not fret. Let's celebrate the times we've been the miracle and re-charge our batteries and enthusiasms so that we can get back to work.
After Christmas. I still have 4612 things to knit before Christmas ;)
What have you done differently this year?