There is a dark at the end of the tunnel of this week for many of us. The looming transition of power worries or horrifies many people in our country. I have read real news; I have seen the memes; I have watched some speeches. I’m among the scared and horrified. There is a scarcity of joy in much of this country; even for much of the world as January 20 approaches.
There isn’t anything I can do to stop January 20 from coming, but I can do things in real life. I can engage in purposeful activities to manifest joy for others and for myself. I can make a difference for my community; I can be a source of comfort for friends and neighbors. I can make choices.
I am part of groups: a writing group and an activism group. Both address equality, creativity, social justice, understanding, and the power of voice. By conversing with and learning from others, I can check my perspective, broaden my horizon, engage with others in social justice. I can also support others in their creative lives.
I have signed up to get training (not sure a 20 year teaching vet needs it, but…it’s required, so okay) to teach English and assist with cultural information for refugee populations in my community. I have lived abroad, and it’s not easy when you choose do this, much less when you flee for your life to a country where some neighbors may not want you to be there. I choose to help marginalized families.
Poverty is everywhere, and I can’t solve that problem; but years ago my sister and I gave my parents a Kiva loan as a present, and I continue to reinvest it in women’s businesses. Our measly contribution has been reloaned in five different countries to support five different businesses, including a bar and a sewing shop. I have a friend who sponsors and visits two children in other countries. Choices to support others in our world.
From an early age, I learned that love is love. It doesn’t matter who you love. People are damn lucky to find someone to love who loves them back – gender, shape, color, geography, culture – none of that matters. I celebrate your love with you, and I will fight for your love with you.
Can I let someone with two items go in front of me at the grocery store and then pay for my 23 things? Yes. Would I make a road trip snack pack for a friend who is traveling to take care of an ill parent? Sure. Will I support my friends’ successes and happinesses without envy? Yep. Might I sit in the hospital room while you doze and recover from surgery? Absolutely. Should we hold hands and talk earnestly about what matters to us? Always. Little things perhaps, in light of the world’s precarious situation, but every bit of good helps.
As David Foster Wallace suggested, the day-in and day-out of adult life is filled with frustrating crap – regardless of and sometimes because of who is in Washington – but, we can choose what we do.
What are you going to do?