Monday, December 1, 2014

Lessons :: Changing the World, One Life at a Time

"I am just one person and I cannot invest myself in every injustice in the world. The psychological toll of doing so would negate whatever positive change I could bring about. So, I choose what to invest in my time in, what areas I cannot stay silent, in the same way we all must."

That's what Shannon wrote last week.

It's true. I don't have the time or energy to dedicate blog posts to every tragedy that happens around me.

There have been school shootings, and child molestations, and earthquakes and hurricanes and all kinds of other issues within the past few years that resulted in the emotional or physical harm of other people that maybe I should care about, but maybe it's okay if I don't.

I'm not writing about celebrities having nude photos leaked or celebrities being accused of rape and maybe that makes me a bad feminist, or maybe that just makes me someone who needs to pick and choose which issues are most important to her because she knows herself, and she knows that if she cares too much about everyone else she'll forget to care about herself.

And maybe it's because I'm part of a black family now, and I have a son that will be identified as black, that I'm suddenly more passionate about racism than I was before, and I'm more surprised by racial hardships than my partner is, because sadly, he's used to it from years of experience.

Maybe I really was an ignorant white person, or maybe I was just naive and blinded by my upbringing because I grew up so far outside of Detroit that I only knew of white, conservative suburbia where our biggest danger was accidentally hitting a deer while driving down a dark, dirt road.

I'm learning and growing and changing and evolving. I'm human. We're all human. We make mistakes and sometimes we care too much or too little or too late.

Sometimes, though, I just want to change the world. No, not sometimes -- all the time. I want to make it better, and that desire becomes overwhelming when it seems that every week, there's a new event that brings up frustration and hardship amongst all sides of the nation. I know that I can't help everyone at once, and I certainly can't help anyone that doesn't want to be helped, but it makes my heart hurt.

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"Do you ever feel like tragedy is happening all around you? I do. And it's frustrating for me, it absolutely kills me. But I need to continue to tell myself that there's only so much I can do. All I have to offer is a smile and a warm hand. I need to believe that, in some small way, it helps. It doesn't change someone's situation, but maybe it can help them get through it. Maybe it can ease the pain, at least for a moment...

Each and every time you meet someone new, you have a chance to make a positive impact. Whether it's at work, at a party or in line at the grocery store. It doesn't matter if you'll ever see them again or if they'll even remember the interaction. It will change your life and theirs. Every moment is important and special. Every smile is a chain reaction. Please be kind and give give give with all your might. There is no negative consequence to this, only love. And all of us need it."

That's what I wrote two years ago.

It's true. We don't have the time or energy for every tragedy. We can't save the whole world at once.

But maybe we can change it, one person at a time.

Maybe we can spread love and joy and compassion to those around us.

Maybe we can lead by example and light up every room with our positive energy.

Maybe we can love big and deep and loud.

We can't do everything for everyone, but we can do something for someone.

"I hate to end on a low note, but it must be said that I didn't even know what was happening in Ferguson until I was linked to articles about it by two blogger friends of mine who, by the way, happen to be black. Why were my Twitter and Bloglovin' feeds filled Robin Williams quotes and ALS Ice Bucket challenges, but not this? As white people, are we afraid to speak up, or are we really that ignorant? Perhaps we just don't know what to say. It can't be because we don't care, because we do. I do..."

That's what I wrote back in August.

I didn't want to mention it on my blog again.

I tried to keep my thoughts and feelings about the events in Ferguson on Twitter and Instagram.

I wanted to stay "professional" and keep this space for my "business" and keep the personal shit at bay.

But I'm in the business of getting personal.

Welcome to The Loudmouth Lifestyle.

*Photo found here.
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