I was raised to be a critical thinker and a defender of people. I remember walking in my first protest when I was little. I learned about Cesar Chavez when my dad walked with the strawberry workers. My parents were 70’s hippies, in which they were part of the Peace, Love, and Kick Ass culture. Probably the punk influence coming onto the scene.
Anyway, I speak out. I always have. I’m a non-confrontational person, but I don’t shy away from stating my thoughts, particularly in writing. I’ve been called opinionated, which took me a while to accept. I was called judgemental, which I soundly reject. Forceful was recently applied to me and threw me for a loop and I’m still thinking about it. So, yes, I speak my values, but I appreciate when people also state their opinions. I may not agree with them, and I may not appreciate their reasoning, but I appreciate knowing their thoughts on things.
When the Orange Nightmare won, I remember that night, not even following the election results, already knowing he was going to win. I just knew, and was already cool with it. When people were outraged the next morning, I shrugged my shoulders. I sat back and watched friends who had been a-political the entire time I knew them start taking up the cause, and speaking out, marching, engaging. And, to be honest, I was pretty damn angry.
It took me some time to understand why I was so very angry mixed with big doses of apathy. I spoke into a room full of shoulder-shruggers for so long that I think that when people finally started to stand up and shout, I was exhausted. I was called opinionated and people would ignore me. People were uncomfortable with me because I would say, “wait, let’s examine that thing you just said.” Or when I would say the worst words people don’t want to hear, “I don’t agree with that, because…” So when the bad things I had been trying to point out for years started happening in a way people couldn’t ignore anymore, I kind of just wanted to walk away and say, “Well, you deal with it since you didn’t step up to try to prevent it!”
I realize that is kinda really dumb. Finally the masses have woken and I should join in, but my anger stops me. I still post things I think are important on Facebook and whatnot, but I still hold this ugly little hot coal of anger in my hand. Every new atrocity the Orange Nightmare and his surrogates commit, I have this urge to say, “Maybe if you had said something A LITTLE SOONER!” It’s like being Chicken Little when the sky finally starts falling and everyone is in a damn panic, like they hadn’t been warned over and over again.
I am fully aware that I am being childish and unhelpful. There is a part of me that wants to watch the world burn. The only problem is that I really kinda don’t. So, right now, I am stuck in this limbo of sorta caring, and sorta not. My saving grace may be the scientist. They aren’t supposed to be political and them standing up to protect their facts is something I can fully get behind and love. Because I need to check back in and pick up my saber. Everyone does, after all.