I really struggled with the decision to write this post because it is somewhat political and I don’t like talking about politics because people get too emotional about them, myself included. However, it has been on my mind for a while now, and to not address it seems inauthentic. I care very much about what is happening in the States and in Europe and in Canada. It seems like the world is gearing up for a huge conflict, and I’m wondering what my role in all of this should be.
On one level, I believe no real change happens externally, and that the only change I can really influence is the change I make within myself. However, as I watched and read the news about the riots in Berkley, and the Women’s March, and the fierce opposition that some representatives and congress people have shown to the Trump administration, and the violent acts of the Antifa movement and the BLM movement, I feel compelled to say something or to do something. I am worried about the threats to Americans’ freedom of speech, and I feel that if I don’t take action, or do something, those freedoms will be lost.
More importantly, when I see opposing groups attacking each other physically, and where people are making personal attacks rather than addressing ideas and ideologies, I feel that we’ve reached a point where we are no longer debating and we have begun fighting. People don’t seem interested in listening to each other.
Even in my place of work, people have opinions about BREXIT, of Trump’s travel ban, or Trump’s presidency, but they don’t seem at all open to exploring the truth through debate or in hearing opinions that are different from their because people who hold different opinions are “stupid,” “racist,” or “Islamophobic”. They know how things are and they don’t need to know anything else. It’s disheartening. I feel like compassion, understanding, and the concern for truth is in short supply, and I want to share that opinion with others.
When these thoughts race through my head and I talk with my husband about what we are witnessing from afar through the vloggers that we follow on YouTube, I am torn between my belief that change comes from within and my desire to be an activist. I believe that we are all connected so if I change my thoughts, my beliefs and my actions, they will affect the people around me, and some of those people might be inspired or influenced to change their thoughts and their beliefs and actions thereby affecting their sphere of influence and so on until the ripples are felt throughout the greater human population. At the same time, having been raised by a mother who always takes action and who built a state of the art preschool and after-school program from the ground up, I feel like it is not enough to just focus on myself. So what’s a girl to do?
Do I continue on my path, focusing on myself, working towards getting certified to be a life coach, writing and publishing books, and reaching the people within my sphere of influence; or do I utilize my dormant YouTube channel, and start sharing my thoughts on the situation? Can I do both? Should I do both? These are the thoughts with which I have been grappling since I started this journey. I realize that I have an activist spirit, but I am unclear as to what kind of an activist I am. This is my dilemma.
I may not find the answer yet, and I feel that this is something not to be rushed. It is a decision that requires much thought and deliberation. The world will go on turning whether or not I add my voice to the millions that are already out there. I cannot change the world from the outside. I must change it from the inside out. So, just as with accountability, I have the what, now I just need the how, and maybe I also need the why as well.
Why do I need to change the world? What do I have to offer that is different from any of the myriad voices and opinions and activists out there? Perhaps the better question is why do I feel compelled to change the world?
I have yet to answer that question with a satisfactory answer. It is not enough to want to change the world. I need to understand my purpose otherwise I will just be fumbling around aimlessly in the dark.
Those are my thoughts. I have no answers as of yet, but the quest to find them promises to be enlightening.
To those of you seeking your answers, I wish you clarity of mind and spirit.
More to come.