Enough is Enough
I am so proud of my brother-in-law. I have always been proud to call him my brother but I am particularly proud of him of late. He has become exactly the kind of person that I thought I would be one day. He has become engaged with a cause. He has become a person who sees a problem and wants to do something about it. He wasn't always like this. I give myself much credit for getting him engaged in the current political dialogue of the day. He started watching the news with me and listening to what was happening. In his hometown he started researching who was running for office and he voted. He volunteered on campaigns. He knocked on doors. He showed up. Some of the horses he backed won and are now serving as his representative. Others lost. And he moved on to the next issue. Of late he has become completely engaged in the topic of climate change. And I really couldn't be more proud.
I think a whole lot of us are outraged by what we are seeing, or worse, by what we are experiencing. You don't have to be a political hack to bear witness to just some of the troublesome things going on around us. And you need not read too far through my blog posts to get a pretty clear idea of where I stand on most issues and what I believe is worth fighting for. So I give any who may disagree permission to do so. That is what living in America is all about, right? We see something we don't like or agree with and we work to change it. We allow for others to join us, or not. And we still move forward together. But I digress.
Off the top of my head, I am currently outraged by:
The stunning lack of leadership on the climate crisis we all confront
The equally stunning lack of courage to pass reasonable gun control legislation
The stunted and failed recovery in Puerto Rico
The attack on my right to choose
The lack of affordable and reliable healthcare for a majority in this country
The broken immigration system the vilifies the most vulnerable
The atrocities at the border
The struggling and perpetually underfunded education system
The lack of equality for the LGBTQ community, and women, in the workplace
The daily videos of people of color on the receiving end of accusations for just - living.....
And I am just getting started. The list of outrages will be different for others. These are mine and I am angry. At myself as much as the crimes themselves. I am doing exactly what my grandmother warned me most about. She said that being ignorant of injustice is one thing. Being indifferent to it is something else entirely, and should be avoided and feared at all costs. Indifference is our failure to act when we know that something is desperately wrong. In light of what I am now witnessing my brother-in-law do, I am feeling a bit indifferent. And I don't like it. When is enough going to be enough?
I say this not to accuse others of doing nothing but, rather, to rally myself into some sort of action. Doing something about the injustices and problems I see in the world is why I became a social worker. It is why I raise my kids with as much kindness as I can muster - so they will go out into the world ready to reflect that kindness. It is why I volunteer at the school and in my community, donate to causes that I care about and generally stay engaged with what is going on in the world around me. But I don't think it is enough. I think, fundamentally, I am still guilty of behaving like I am indifferent to the issues that I care most about. And something has to change. I need to change. And I need to start today.
I'm not sure what that means when I wake up tomorrow. But I will start by reading the latest information that my brother-in-law sends me. And I will listen to my own voice, and I will hopefully find a productive way to raise it so that it may join others to say "enough is enough". I think it is going to be a long summer.