it would be best in many ways to live my life apart from the world.
to be cloistered away somewhere set aside from this hectic reality where i could only focus on the things
directly in my presence and not worry about anything but the life within my reach, thinking only of the activities that spanned the breadth of a single day.
i keep thinking that i should be doing a thousand thousand things that will never happen.
i should be more well informed.
i should have a better handle on politics
(on the local and national and international stage)
i should be involved.
i should learn what it means to "caucus."
i should have an opinion on issues that have numbers.
i should know that there are ballot initiatives.
i shouldn't need a bumper sticker to remind me when to vote no and when to vote yes.
i should take an interest... i should educate myself.
but then things happen.
they always happen: violence and war and death and bigotry and hatred... large, intractable, human problems fueled by such deep divisions that nothing can bridge the widening chasm and no amount of my caucusing (nor lack thereof) will change the inevitable tragic outcomes.
why should i feel a call to action if the call itself causes me to become paralyzed?
why should i be well informed if the information makes me sick?
can i be a conscientious objector on matters of conscience?
what if my world is just small?
what if can't operate in the world beyond my front door?
what if i raise my children to be intelligent, caring human beings?
what if i fight HARD for my students... newly arrived to this country that is safe(r) than the one they left?
what if I serve as an advocate for them, as a jumping-off point, as a compass when they try to find their way?
what if that is my activism?
is it enough?
because when i sit with people here at lunch i am expected to know the latest (and the last twenty years' history) of any particular cause or risk being an outcast. not a true outcast in any formal sort of way--
but ignorance casts me in rags where others are crowned in glory.
i think of myself as a "big picture" person, but i can't do big pictures of political and activist things. my big pictures can only encompass a school. perhaps a district. this doesn't seem like the big picture does it? seems small. puny. minuscule.
or maybe because of my "big picture" way of looking at things my thinking gets too muzzy if there are too many players involved. i can imagine too many points of view. too many factors involved. too many possible bad outcomes.
i am trying hard not to cry all the time.
how do i know when to stop protecting myself?
how do i welcome my children to this world and make them less ignorant of current events than i am...
if ignorance is part of what keeps me sane?
how can i fight when surrender is my opening salvo?
and tears are the only counteroffensive?
Quaker, teacher, parent,