The past several days, I’ve been chewing on something. I mean, a little bit about what a Golden Girls-headed chimera would look like, some about the possible pus-ridden hell-stenching drowning doom of us all–but mostly what I’ve been thinking about is how we belittle each other.
People belittling Women’s March participants because “you didn’t accomplish anything.” People belittling people who didn’t march because “sitting on your ass donating tiny amounts of money doesn’t do anything” or “signing petitions is just something idiots do to make themselves feel good.” People belittling people who call their representatives because “they won’t listen anyway; you just sound stupid” or “nothing is going to happen. You sound like a crazy person right now. Nothing is going to happen.”
I just…don’t quite understand.
Nothing matters, maybe, but also, everything matters.
When an individual is trying to battle a very large problem, all they have are little things. A frightening government regime, a collapsing environment, world hunger, a crumbling future. You cannot take it on except in tiny pieces. To save the environment, you recycle things, take shorter showers, turn off the water while brushing your teeth. To save your country, you cast a vote. You sign petitions. You make calls. You donate what you can. Maybe, you march.
All you have, as an individual, are little atoms of force. Little pinpricks of pressure. A march will not directly effect change, but it applies pressure. A phone call will not change a government official’s mind, but it applies pressure. A signed petition might be ignored, but it might apply pressure. Pressure is supposed to accumulate, like dollars. A few dollars donated will not change anyone’s fate, but it can build.
It was the fact that 100,000 people signed a petition that a reporter pressed the president’s spokesperson on his taxes. Applying pressure.
And even in our own worlds, it’s the small things that matter. Including someone, saying “I understand,” or “yes I support you,” helping someone. A single act may not matter in the moment, but it builds in someone else’s psyche–just as every instance of noninclusion or rejection can be little cuts that mark themselves on a person.
I don’t understand the cutting down of other people’s small acts. Yes, they are small. But they are vital. We need them. All of them. They are all good. They are all Helping. A whale doesn’t survive on a single fat plankton–it needs all the fucking planktons to keep moving through the sea.
Keep doing the little things. Take breaks if you need to. Take care of yourself, because even doing the small things takes a lot out of a person. We need your little atoms. <3