The current state of the nation, and the world, has me, like many others, on the verge of a panic induced nervous breakdown. So much negative news to process. So much mis-information to wade through. "Alternative Facts" that make me feel like we have slipped into the pages of a dystopian novel and are sliding down a steep slope into a quagmire that will keep us mired for years to come. It is making it increasingly difficult to look ahead with my normal optimism.
There are so many hot button issues pulling me in every direction. I want to be able to raise my voice in dissent and protest to each and every one of them. But I know that would have me spinning my wheels, exhausted and weak, and out of energy long before the battle reaches its peak. Instead I have decided that I need to Find My Focus.
This is my advice to all my friends, each of who is mired in the same vortex of doom. Find Your Focus. We all want to see the right thing done, we all want to stand against tyranny, injustice, deceit, and "alternative facts." But we can't be on every frontline. This is a battle fought on so many fronts, and no one can be everywhere and be effective. We know what is right, we know we need to stand together, there has to be a united front. But if we all try to support every cause we will fail out of the sheer weight of the load.
Find Your Focus. Mine has become Public Broadcasting, and our public lands. These are two issues that speak to me. Public Broadcasting is our source of untainted news, in depth coverage of issues and events around the world as well as in our own backyard. It is a source of education for all, from preschool on up. It is publicly financed, as well as receiving government grants. Well, those grants may dry up, so if we want our PBS stations to continue we need to step up our own support. To me, this is an easy decision, and a relatively easy fix. I put my money where my mouth is and became a sustaining member, and discovered just how many friends I have that are already members as well. We need to keep our access to information if we want to have the true facts, not "alternative."
Public Lands is a whole other scenario. Within days of coming to power the current administration is taking steps to sell off lands. They are not posting maps or information on which lands. Yes, some land could be sold or traded, but to whom and for what? Once these lands are gone, developed, logged, mined, whatever, they are gone. Gone. This speaks to me of a rape, pillage, and burn mentality. I have seen enough land clear cut in my time to know just how much it effects the entire ecosystem, including our clean water, and the air we breathe. We need our wild lands, our hiking trails, our access to untainted forests and waterways. It is vital to our well spiritual being, our sanity, and our health. This is an issue I will be watching closely, and trying to figure out where I can be of some service.
Yes, there are so many issues that I support, but I have to narrow my focus to I can be effective. This does not mean I will not be supportive of all the other people finding their passion. We need to support each other, have each other's backs. Just because I am not marching at your side does not mean I think my cause is better, or more worthy than your's. With a strong solid base, we can win. If there is in-fighting over who has the more worthy cause, we will lose. I was disappointed to hear the gas-lighting of the Women's March by other protest groups. Really people? This is not middle school, it is not about which social group is the best, it is not jocks versus geeks, or stoners versus the chess club. We have fallen into such an "Us versus Them" mentality over the last few years that we can't seem to recognize allies when we see them. If nothing else, remember: "The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend." We have to stand together, everyone. I don't care where you live, where you grew up, what your religion is, your gender identity, sexual preference, skin color, or what your personal goals are, we need to support one another. We need to see that we are all fighting the same war, but with different weapons and in different trenches. But it is one fight. We all need to recognize that we are allies.
Find Your Focus. Pick your battle. Stand beside your allies. We can do this. We have to do this. If we fail we fall into dystopia, and may never find our way out.