Did I say I would write again this week? Yeah, I guess that’s right, I did. Have you ever broken a resolution, but had a really good excuse? Me too. This past week, I could claim that working full time has just been more than I could handle. I could claim that missing my family kept me from the computer and turned my focus towards them. And all of that would be true, for the most part.
But the real truth is that I was seduced by a book. And it kept me coming back each night, ignoring my other duties so that I could, for a time, live vicariously in a world very different from my own. A place where the fight for good is an obvious one. A place where people put their lives on the line for the good of the entire a world. A place where the fight between good and evil is, for the most part, obvious and pressing. A place very different from the one which we inhabit.
Or is it? The stakes are not always so dire when we stand up for right against those who are wrong. But for the protesters in Egypt and now, as the movement spreads across the Middle East, it is. People are literally putting their lives and the lives of their family and friends on the line. All to create change they are convinced will be for the best. They are standing up for something they believe in.
Here in the west we have it pretty cushy. We may protest in anger, we walk on Washington, go to town hall meetings, we boycott businesses and write letters to the newspaper. But what has it cost us? Is there a cost and should we expect one?
The lead up to the Iraq war back in 2002 found Hubby and me protesting in front of the state capital building. As a result, we were railed at by friends and family alike. And I had work associates who, three years later, still complained about my activism. But those were acceptable consequences for us.
I have to admit, though, that we have not remained as active as we once were. But I feel that call to action every so often. It’s not necessarily a call to political activity, but to volunteer actions. I want to make a difference. I want to feel alive and more involved in my community.
Out of solidarity with those who are risking their lives right now, let’s all consider what we can do to bolster our own democracy. Inform ourselves and take action when we find a topic which speaks to us. I may not agree with you in some matters, but it is the act of discussion and participation which will continue to ensure that we have a healthy, vital democracy and can, possibly, be a role model to others looking to create such freedoms in their own countries. Join me!