Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How to make a difference in something you care about

Is there something you really care about? Something you want to change? Somewhere you want to make a difference?

Do you ever get discouraged?

I sure do. It probably comes to no surprise to you that one of the things I care most about is low-income students breaking the cycles of poverty through education. 

Sometimes the issues of inequality and the systems that continue them feel so overwhelming. Sometimes I feel like I'm not making any difference at all. 

And that's the best weapon the status quo and patterns of oppression have - to make people who want to change things feel completely powerless and hopeless. 

Last week I read an amazing book - Privilege, Power, and Difference by Allan G. Johnson - that featured a poem that I wanted to share with you: 

Stubborn Ounces 
(To the One Who Doubts the Worth of Doing Anything If You Can’t Do Everything)

You say the little efforts that I make
will do no good; they will never prevail
to tip the hovering scale
where Justice hangs in balance.
                                  I don’t think
I ever thought they would.
But I am prejudiced beyond debate
In favor of my right to choose which side
shall feel the stubborn ounces of my weight.

by Bonaro W. Overstreet

I hope that you do not lose faith in your power to affect change in whatever it is you really care about. 

And as for me, I hope that the stubborn ounces of your weight complete college and achieve your dreams - it is one of the best things you can do for yourself and for all the people who identify with you.

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