Today is a day of change.
Today is a day of choice.
As a shift occurs, not just in our country, but in the world, we each have a place. That place could be as simple as a singular feeling.
Whatever the feeling, I don’t judge.
Instead I choose.
Choosing is really hard sometimes – each choice has a consequence that must be weighed.
For me the weighing of the consequence is the most important part because it allows me to continue to live a regret-free life.
For me activism has been a singular journey. On my journey my focus has always been my immediate world, effecting change where I could make some kind of dent, however small.
For some the small chipping away isn’t enough they must go big.
For some the idea of those small chips seems like not enough so why bother.
I want to share with you something I read 20 years ago that has stayed with me to this day:
“It has become a common feeling, I believe, as we have watched our heroes falling over the years, that our own small stone of activism, which might not seem to measure up to the rugged boulders of heroism we have so admired, is a paltry offering toward the building of an edifice of hope. Many who believe this choose to withhold their offerings out of shame.
This is the tragedy of our world.
For we can do nothing substantial toward changing our course on the planet … without rousing ourselves, individual by individual, and bringing our small, imperfect stones to the pile.”
Alice Walker from “Anything We Love Can Be Saved”
This passage has directed my choices, my responses, my imperfect stones, for the last 20 years.
When someone has put upon me their prejudices, I have embraced my small, imperfect stones and added them to the pile.
Sometimes the stones are words, sometimes action, sometimes choices that made people angry, sometimes choices that made people happy. All of them my small, imperfect stones. Some quiet, some loud.
At times my small, imperfect stones were multicolored pebbles and sometimes those stones were lead-laden rocks.
All of them, each of them, brought to the pile.
Some of the piles belonged to others, some of the piles my own.
For all of them I am proud.
That’s how the pile grows, that’s how change happens; sometimes slow, sometimes fast.
Today I will make some choices that won’t make everyone happy.
Today I will make choices some might not understand.
Today I will make choices some will embrace.
Today the stones I bring to the pile will matter… the pile will start small and that’s okay.
Each small, imperfect offering matters.