“I’m too old for this sh*t.”
Every once in a while, there’s a campaign or a project that makes me question why on Earth I agreed to become an activist. Why now, in my 30s when I full-time career, a job, and I’m studying for my social media specialist certification. Why not when I was still in college or in my early 20s when I had the time and stamina to do all this.
And then I think back on how I was at that age. It wasn’t that I didn’t care about what was happening in the world. I was simply content to live in my bubble and let someone else try their hand at changing the world. I didn’t think I was big enough, strong enough, or loud enough to make a difference. Back then, I figured I’m not going to make a difference anyway, so why should I even bother trying.
Then I had a baby. That’s when the sh*t started to get real.
I was responsible for another human being. I wanted give my child everything. I wanted to give her the world. I figured the best way to do it was to get started on changing the future.
The Glamorous Life of a Progressive Activist
Don’t get me wrong, I love being an activist. I enjoy the fact that it’s given my life meaning. I like the fact that in my own way I’m making a difference in the world. It exhausting work; dealing with the problems of the world and finding ways to fix things one small stop at the time.
It’s not the work that’s bringing me down but the insults I get online and in real life.
Insults from people who:
- keep telling me that I’m not big enough, loud enough, or strong enough to make a difference
- would rather see the world burn simply because they want the satisfaction of being right about the evils of humanity.
- are simply selfish. They want things to stay the way it is because it suits their agenda.
The only satisfaction I get from the experience is that people who insult me aren’t very creative when it comes to name-calling. Like being called an activist, feminist, liberal, or an environmentalist is insulting. The worst thing they could up with was social justice person. Because the worst thing you can be in the world today is to be someone who fights for justice
It’s fulfilling work but to be honest sometimes I wonder if I should even be doing this. Shouldn’t I just focus on providing for myself and my family? I could use that extra hour volunteering to make more money, go to the spa, or do more house repairs. Then I look at my little girl, my husband, and my neighborhood, and somehow I find the energy to keep going.
Activism Is A Form Of Time Travel
Like any parent, I want to leave my child something that would safeguard her future. That’s why most of us work, to leave our kids something. We earn to give them an education or leave them an inheritance to somehow make life easier for them in the future.
But my husband and I, being masochists and total nerds, don’t think that’s enough. Why not do something to shape the future right now? Why not motivate people to do the same thing?
I know what I’m doing is a drop in the bucket compared to what Bill Gates is doing. But all the money in the world doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have the passion to make the world a better place. Changing the world takes time, money, effort and passion from millions of people who are all working together to make a change. I have a little bit of all that so I figured why not pitch in.
I know that I probably won’t see the fruits of my labor in my lifetime. But at least I’m doing something to make sure that my daughter would experience that change in her lifetime. My hope is that she gets to live out most of her life in a world that’s better than the one that we’re living in right now. And I’m willing to do whatever I can to make sure that future gets to faster. Even if the work that I do only brings that bright future closer by just a few seconds, it’ll all be worth it.
Children Of The (Chicha)Corn
I hate spoiled brats. I get annoyed every time I read about them on social media, about rich kids throwing tantrums because they didn’t get a Lamborghini for their 16th birthday. I get irritated reading about kids posting about their first world problems and complaining about things that don’t matter at all.
I understand, these kids are sheltered. They live in a bubble and they have no idea how the rest of the world lives. It’s a parent’s instinct to protect your child from the evils of the world and fill their lives with joy.
But I don’t want my daughter to grow up like that.
And that brings me to the other part of how motherhood turned me into an activist. I don’t want my daughter to be a spoiled brat.
I want my daughter to be aware of what’s happening in the world and what we can do to solve it. I want her to understand that life sometimes isn’t fair but that doesn’t mean there’s no justice in the world. I want my daughter to know that the world might be falling apart right now but we can do something to fix it.
She’s going to face the future on her own and she needs to be ready for it. Not only will she be ready for it, she’ll have the tools to shape her own future if she chooses to use it.
Mother of Heroes
My daughter’s favorite comic book heroes right now are the Green Lantern Corps. She likes them because it’s an entire group of heroes made up of boys, girls, humans, aliens, a planet, an energy field, a piece of paper, and other things I can’t identify. But the point of the Green Lantern Corps is that anyone can be a hero. If you have the will, you can achieve anything.
The last point I want to make on how motherhood turned me into an activist is how I imagine my daughter being a hero herself one day. My husband and I can see that she’s better than us in every way. I’m new to being an activist and I’m still making mistakes left and right. She can learn from them. She can do so much more and do it better.
If she chooses to follow the same path, there’s a big possibility that she will see the changes she helped put into action within her own lifetime. If she can influence the people around her to care for the world, there would be more people working to make a difference. If she chooses to do all that, she’d basically have her own Green Lantern Corps. And that would make me the mother of heroes =).
Being an activist is scary, tiring, fulfilling and I wouldn’t miss this experience for the world. I’m changing the future, saving the world, and raising heroes. It’s a tough job, but with those perks how can anyone say no?