Mapping Things Out

I always consider Mondays to be a good “First Day” of anything. Whether it’s a new health regiment or training program or meditation schedule or political action…I like starting everything on a Monday. So I spent my spare time this weekend trying to get my life organized around political action plans. I added phone numbers of my representatives to my phone. I subscribed to actions lists to take advantage of the work other people are doing. I bought this t-shirt.

So, today is the day I start. I want to do at least one concrete action every week. Whether it’s a call to register my complaint for the nomination of a cabinet member I don’t support, or donate to an organization that does bigger work than I can do, or write a letter to my Congressman. I want to know I’ve done one action every week to fight the changes this administration is trying to bring.

Speaking of action…Nikki and I went to a sister rally on Saturday for the Women’s March.

We got tons of really great response with almost non-stop supportive honking and cheering. We did get flipped off from a few people which prompted conversation between a friend of mine as to what makes that kind of person. The kind of person who sees something they don’t like and looks the people in the eyes and flips them off. I can only imagine what I would feel if I saw Westboro Baptist protesting a funeral (which is the angriest I could imagine seeing protests) and I still don’t think I’d flip them off. It’s such a strange response. Strange…as in not something I can imagine…being that type of person.

Of course, I don’t think I’ve ever flipped anyone off seriously ever. Maybe those people are the kind that flip off people who cut them off which I don’t do. It’s just weird and a reminder that sometimes there are innate behaviors in people that are very different from me and that always blows my mind because it’s where my empathy fails. I can’t put myself in the shoes of that person.

This got me thinking about changing minds and behaviors. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately – can I change the minds or the political habits of people? I often write about things like racial injustice in hopes to do for others what many did for me. I went from “all lives matter” to “Black Lives > White Feelings” due to the writings of others, can I do that too? And how hard do I try? And when do I stop losing sleep over it? Especially when it comes to real people in m life, like with political posts on Facebook. Where is the best way to spend my energy? I don’t want to just deal with politics, I want be part of changing culture because a lot of the changes I want to see in the country are way outside of politics. I want to see changes in hearts. I want people to finally see systemic racism around them. I want us to not judge the poor and to be their moral police by making them jump through hoops to receive charity. I want people to be okay with increasing tax rates or paying more for healthcare so that the less fortunate can be insured. Is it possible to change minds in these areas?

And that’s where my brain is lately. Ready to get started with the political resistance, but also wanting to work on changing minds and hearts as well as voting habits.

How is your Monday?

5 Comments

  • Michele

    I have flipped off the protesters at Planned Parenthood. Of course, I’ve also flipped off my mom, my husband, all of my siblings. I’m from NJ, so maybe I don’t see it as that much of an insult? (I also cuss like a sailor.)

  • Sarah @ TM2TS

    I flip off my boss sometimes. Does that count?
    I usually flip off people who piss me off. Protesters don’t piss me off, even if I don’t agree with their platform. WBC gets a major eye-roll and usually a few snarky comments to my kids, but I won’t flip them off.

  • Wendy

    I downloaded “INDIVISIBLE: A PRACTICAL GUIDE for RESISTING THE TRUMP AGENDA” from indivisibleguide.com. It’s written by congressional staff members (past and present) and has some great practical advice about how to maximize your impact. They also have an action calendar (as does womensmarch.com) with daily actions you can take.

  • Lindsey

    Oh, I’m with you. Rep/Senator numbers programmed into my phone. We marched locally. And I’m organizing a local Indivisible group in WA state. Feeling inspired, yet also trying to balance sanity in my daily life.