When You Feel Powerless
For those of us in the U.S., this week brought a double wave of horror with back to back mass shootings of unspeakable violence.
Of course, we are filled with rage over more innocent lives lost to hate, stupidity, greed, and the rise of white supremacy.
Of course, we wonder why we are the only industrialized country in the world with assault weapons readily available for purchase and we gasp at how the NRA has so many of our politicians in their grasp.
Of course, we feel powerless, heartsick, depressed, and pissed off.
That’s normal. That’s appropriate. That’s what we must feel.
And, at the same time we feel all these emotions, let’s try to remember that giving up is never the answer.
Change happens in glacial, mysterious, and messy ways that are often impossible to track; especially from our individual efforts.
We make the assumption that our efforts toward changing our government, stopping white supremacy, and changing our insane gun laws, must either produce results we can point to or our efforts have failed completely. But that has never been how change happens.
It’s agonizingly slow, astonishingly complex, and impossible to know exactly what creates the change when it comes. You won’t be able to point to any one event, protest, or opinion piece and say, “That’s what did it. That’s what changed the gun laws and stopped this insanity.”
Every drop of money you give, every letter, every conversation, and every action you take COUNTS. But you probably won’t see the result; at least not directly.
Let us not feed hopelessness and apathy because we don’t see things changing now. Let us not slide into the despair side of “Why bother?”.
We want a safe and just world for all by now, god please yes, and we will keep fighting.
By all means, take a break from social media and the news when you need. By all means, take care of your beautiful self, and also send money to Moms Demand Action or EveryTown or Americans for Responsible Action. Write your congressperson. Light a candle at a vigil. Tell your friends to keep the faith.
Keep taking action for a better world. Rest when you need. Keep finding your why bother.
We must not believe the whisper of despair that says it matters not. It all matters. This I base my life on.