This is a question I ask myself all the time. What can I do? I’m not asking it in the resigned way, as a way of saying there’s nothing I can do. I’m asking it in the sincere way. I actually want to know what I can do. The world is all kinds of messed up. What role can I play in trying to fix it?
Unfortunately, there are no clear answers to the question. I might be privileged, but I’m not rich and I’m not powerful. I have no way to give the less fortunate jobs or raises, and I don’t have much money after paying my bills to give to charity. (I do give a little, and I try to donate old clothes and things like that.) I work two jobs, one of which is physically demanding, so it’s hard for me to attend meetings or rallies or protests. I can’t even donate blood. I’ve tried, but I can’t seem to remain conscious while doing it, so they told me to stop trying. In other words, I’m limited, at least when it comes to things that will make a real impact. But I still want to do something, so what can I do?
I don’t have a large platform (although if this blog got to be big, I’d be awfully happy, so feel free to share), but I can write. I can put my views out there. I have no way of knowing how persuasive I am or how open-minded my readers are. I like to think they’re quite open-minded, but if I’m being honest, I don’t know. So, I don’t know that my writing has much of an impact, but it is something I can do. At least I’m not silent.
I can vote. And I do vote. I’ve voted at every opportunity I’ve had since turning eighteen. I also encourage others to vote. I believe it’s important. Real change doesn’t happen without a sympathetic government (which is something worthy of its own post). I have to admit I sometimes have doubts. I live in a medium sized town in a small state. Everyone I voted for last November lost. But I try to stay positive about voting because it is something I can do.
I’m pretty sure the most important thing I can do is everything in my power to raise my kid right. A large part of that is talking to her openly and honestly about the issues that matter, even when the conversations are uncomfortable. Another big part is living my life in a way that is consistent with my values. Children learn at least as much from how we act as what we say. I can try my best to be a good role model.
That doesn’t feel like a lot. Are there really only three things I can do? I honestly don’t know. There’s probably more, I just don’t know where to look. Although, now that I think of it, this is a fourth thing I can do. I can keep struggling with these questions. It keeps me up nights wondering if my values and opinions are right. I’d hate to be fighting for the wrong things. Questioning helps keep me honest, and, hopefully, pointed in the right direction. Maybe it can even show me some more things I can do.