642 Things to Write about Me: An Exercise is Blogging

My husband bought me a copy a book with the same title as the blog except for the blogging part. He suggested that I take each thing and write an entry in my blog, and I think that’s an incredible suggestion.

Considering that I will likely divide some entries and probably won’t post every day, 642 ideas give me roughly two years worth of material.

Entry one: “Write a letter to the teacher (or coach) who made a difference in your life, asking him or her for help. What are you asking for? Why?”

This one is tough. Definitely no coaches are involved in this case, and different teachers influenced me in different ways. I’ve previously written in a former blog about the teacher who inspired me to write, Ms. Hendrix- my first grade teacher.

I’m not entirely sure what I would ask her or why I would be asking her for help. But I’m a writer, so I can come up with scenarios.

Ms. Hendrix, when the world seems as though it’s going to chaos and one’s own personal faith seems to be failing, and one voice alone seems to be inconsequential when dealing with the encroaching devastation, what does one do? How does one maintain sanity when the world is so full of insanity? How does one maintain peace when the world is so full of violence, and when we’ve been taught that violence is never the answer…only to discover that sometimes, it’s the only response against people who oppress us?

How do we defend ourselves without overstepping our bounds and becoming an oppressor ourselves? How do we fight those who would hurt us without becoming the people who are hurting others? Where is the balance, and is there a balance?  How we stand in solidarity with a movement based in virtue without becoming mindless sheep who forget the whole point of the movement in the first place? In other words, how do we avoid falling into the role of mere pawns of someone with vastly ulterior and unethical motives?

How do we balance individualism and personal responsibility with collectivism and the fact that we live in a society and are social creatures who are also in some way responsible for other people, even if indirectly?

These are not the questions I would’ve asked you at age 6. These are the questions I’m asking at age 31.

When I was 6, I didn’t have to face a life of oppression- I wasn’t a refugee being rejected in a new country because people were afraid of me, I wasn’t living in a war-torn country, I wasn’t starving, I wasn’t surrounded by death that didn’t affect me because I had grown up seeing so many corpses, I wasn’t the victim of domestic violence or abuse- I had the privileges that many American 6-year-olds in 1991 had.

By age 31, I have become jaded because of empathy. My question to you- how to not be jaded? How to change things? How to find the answer that can set things on a better path?

Maybe this world will never be perfect, but what burns in me still, what hasn’t been killed, is the idealism that somehow we can push things in a better direction. Thoughts?

Steve

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