I have been thinking a lot about what I want to teach my son. I want to teach him to be a compassionate man who stands up for what he believes in, even if it is uncomfortable. Part of his education comes from exposure to different people and situations, so tonight, despite S and me being fairly exhausted, we packed up the kid and the crazy dog and headed downtown. We joined an estimated 10,000 other people to raise our voices in unison in opposition to the archaic laws being passed by North Carolina legislators in Raleigh. (http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/08/05/3083774/moral-monday-protests-heading.html , https://twitter.com/asheville/status/364517682424471552)
I used to be a lot more political. When I had a shaved head and wore really baggy jeans (so baggy, my college soccer coach and one of my teammates each got in a leg…at the same time), I would scream loud and pump my fist for whatever cause I was supporting. As my hair grew out and my pants shrank, I still showed-up, but was maybe not as loud as I once was. Now, half the time I don’t know what I am wearing or the state of my hair, I show-up and observe. I am not often holding a sign, or speaking out. I am just there.
Brining M to these events is sometimes
nerve-wracking. There were a LOT of people today. Dogs and strollers and big signs to dodge. Counter protestors to make the blood boil. It was hot and loud and…really important. M might not know exactly what is going on, but he sees all kind of people coming together to support and uplift and to inspire change. That is why we take him.
Part of the legacy I will leave for my son is the belief that people, together, can change the world. It has happened again and again. So, even when we are tired and grumpy and whatever else, we still show up for our neighbors and ourselves.