Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Doing the right thing
A feeling of helplessness has invaded my life lately. Distant issues, such as the vote on the same-sex marriage amendment in North Carolina, leave me feeling agitated and restless and acutely aware of social injustice. A complete feeling of helplessness to change the view of those who don't believe that all love is equal. My work issues, disrespectful management and general negativity, leave me feeling frustrated and tired at a job that, otherwise, I truly love. I do have control over how I behave and respond, but again, no ability to change others. My friend's sweet daughter developing recurrent osteosarcoma leaves me feeling heartbroken and sad beyond measure. I have no magic medicine to make it go away, only my prayers to send out for a miracle and the occasional casserole to ease the burden at their home.
And then my own community's financial crisis that have left me feeling all of the above. Our Board of Supervisors, our "public servants", pulled the rug out from under our schools and subsequently our children, when they decided not to pass the tax increase that they said they would institute. The board left the schools to absorb a $1.4 million shortfall. This would translate into cutting sports, field trips, extended education, increasing class sizes, not opening a brand new high school, pay cuts for the teachers, etc, etc. The parents and concerned citizens of our community rallied together though. We came together to protest before the Board of Supervisors meeting. I felt that it was very important for my girls to be part of this process. We have talked before about social injustices and what we could do about them, but now, more than ever, they needed to step up too. When we sat down to make signs Laurel asked if other people would have signs too. When I said "Probably" she immediately indicated that if no one else had signs she would not be carrying one. Oh, what a great segway for a good talk! Sometimes, when we are standing up for what we believe in, we need to go out of our comfort zone. Fighting for the right thing, for what you believe in, may not help you win a popularity contest, but it is what you have to be prepared to do. Any discomfort you may feel in the process will be repaid in either creating positive change or at least going to sleep at night knowing that you tried. I hope Laurel and Sierra "got it", at least a little. Laurel did agree that field trips and keeping awesome teachers at the school were good enough reasons to spend an hour working on her sign and then proudly carrying it at the protest. In the end, the result was not what we parents and teachers had hoped for. But at least we tried and will continue to try. I feel a little less helpless when we are moving forward to facilitate change. And I hope that my children will continue to watch, learn, and choose to take action when it's needed.
Ok, so they held the signs a little higher when the camera crew showed up!
Even Cadence got involved