Take A Small Action For The Good

“It doesn’t do any good, we can’t anything about it.” Why do people reiterate this when deciding to not take a small action about our current political scene?
I have to deconstruct this, as to my mind it is patently false. First off, much—most—of what we do all day doesn’t do much about anything. We keep a roof over our heads and the wolf from the door—good. We watch TV and hang around and are on Facebook—relaxing, but it doesn’t “do” anything. What percentage of our lives are focused on our loftiest goals, our highest expression? Good for you if its a lot—getting an education, caring for a sick person. But we can’t “do” anything about the drought, yet conserve water anyway—partially habit, partially because of cost—and keep our gardens going. So why not send that postcard to your representative with the same ordinary attitude?
Such and such is not political. I hear this from arts organizations and more. This is just because, as naive Americans, we consider politics to be…about our current two party system. In Latin America and Europe and no doubt other places politics is considered intellectual conversation. And when you are attacked, and your funding cut, ordinary cultural activities become political.
Aristotle famously said: Man is an animal who lives in a city. It can be translated as—Man is a political animal. By this very condition, our existence is politics.
Nothing means anything. Watch out for nihilism. It makes you sound like a teen-aged Jean-Paul Sartre. And don’t apply it at will—nihilism about activism, enthusiasm for chocolate cake, because that makes you…
A materialist. Who prefers fake flowers to real (because they last and are more practical). And, let’s face it, if every one of your actions has to result in a glorious outcome you are on the way to self aggrandizing. I won’t use the much bandied word starting with N that refers to falling in love with your own reflection here, but you know what I mean.
And bottom line—don’t tell other people their actions are meaningless. Would you feel free to tell them that about a worrisome child, credit card debt, or bad health? I doubt it. In the Hebrew Book of Job, the suffering man’s bad friends tell him his faith is meaningless. Who put them up to this? Satan. You get my point.
Since I know you aren’t any of these annoying types, I encourage you to be yourself and take a break from working for the man, being a starving artist, a harassed parent, or whatever else you are doing and become what you already really are—an ethical citizen.
And take that small action for the good.

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About Miriam Sagan

I'm blogging about poetry, land art, haiku, women artists, road trips, and Baba Yaga at Miriam's Well (https://miriamswell.wordpress.com). The well is ALWAYS looking to publish poetry on our themes, sudden fiction, and guest bloggers and musers.

4 thoughts on “Take A Small Action For The Good

  1. Thank you, Miriam, for your wise words, and reminding us to not give in to nihilism, especially in these troubled times.

  2. I have been calling Mitch McConnell’s office. Other Republicans too. Oh, great line, great advice: ” if every one of your actions has to result in a glorious outcome you are on the way to self aggrandizing.:” Thanks.

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