So, while trying to pick a topic for this week’s blog post, I thought of many political things that are annoying me. President Obama’s support for at least the southern half of the Keystone XL Pipeline, the absence of a viable presidential candidate whom I can get excited about, the lack of political will to pass the much needed Buffett Rule on Taxation (let alone true tax reform), continued legislative attacks on women’s health and rights, and the stalling of the Student Loan Forgiveness Act in Congress all came to mind. It was pretty overwhelming, to be completely honest. I certainly am not able to deal with these issues by myself.
Then I took a step back and realized that all of these issues are intertwined and indicative of a failing system and will not be solved separately or by one person, but together and by a large group of people. That what is really needed is not one activist who cares about environmental justice, women’s rights, and economic equality but a large scale revolution based upon empowerment and anti oppression and engages everyone, not just the political science majors and activists. A movement that is inclusive of everyone and understands that we cannot let labels (radical, progressive, anarchist, socialist, atheist, Christian, Jewish, white, black, hispanic, middle class, blue collar, young, old, educated, poor) divide us, instead we must acknowledge our diversity and find strength in it. We need to work together for system change, because anything short of that is unacceptable to humanity and the future of equality and justice.
We need to work for system change while taking care of each other, because not taking care of our own as a society is what got us into this mess in the first place. As a society we’ve become isolated from our communities and this needs to change. Steps to achieving this goal can include (but are certainly not limited to) sharing meals with your roommates, neighbors, family, and coworkers, helping someone unemployed find a living wage job, or providing space for someone to crash when they need somewhere to sleep. Simply put, help out when you can, because you never know when you might be one step away from homelessness or not have enough money to put food on the table. Love and compassion is the way forward as we work for system change that puts human need before corporate greed.
So I invite all of you to connect with your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, friends of friends, acquaintances, etc and let them know that we are all in this struggle together and that we have nothing to lose but the chains that keep us oppressed and from achieving equality and justice for all. Say ‘hi’ to people on the bus, smile at small children, spend time in the park with friends, share your music and your passion, dance in the streets, and don’t be afraid of being interconnected within a community. Change starts with each and every one of us taking small actions every day to make the world a friendlier place. I’ll see you all in the streets!