Home > Communication, politics, Social Justice > Pennies together

Pennies together

A month ago, a dino I know talked me into joining Nano Poblano, her November daily blog post challege.

“No problemo!” I told her around roughly a half-dozen birthday beers. “I could write eight posts a day with everything I’m learning now!”

It seemed like a great idea, because beer.


Soon after starting the challenge, I discovered that writing about politics every day is exhausting.

It’s especially exhausting when you’re reading about all the very terrible things you never realized were being done with your tax dollars and votes.

I was wiped out by mid-month, so I started writing shorter posts. It was an improvement, but I was still tired.

By the end of the month, I was so very ready to be done … but I was grateful for the challenge all the same.

By forcing myself to write every day, I had to face a lot of questions and issues I might not have faced otherwise.

I had to face burnout, and to face the implications of burnout.

Something really, really good came from that: I stopped trying to obtain perfection. I sought “good enough” instead.

Seeking good-enough in my posts helped me understand the same approach is invaluable as a citizen approaching political change: There will never be the perfect moment or perfect information, so I must begin by doing what I can now!

I understand much of what’s led us to here and now. I understand you and I must band together now if we are to stop potentially cataclysmic climate change accelerating right now.

I don’t have time to keep reading depressing tomes on everything done wrong to date.


Depressing tomes read as of mid-November

I must begin pursuing solutions that might improve the future, since every second I waste stewing over what’s done is a second I’ve lost to change what’s ahead.

I can’t wait for perfect solutions. None of us can.

We must do the best we can with what we have, and trust we’ll gain more understanding and tools as we go.

I’m casting my pennies–my ideas, my hopes, my passion–into a save-the-world fund.

My pennies won’t go very far alone, but you know what? If we each cast in a few pennies, there’s no telling what we might buy together.

So, please: start casting in your pennies, even the ones that don’t look very shiny at first glance. Maybe shiny isn’t what we need, after all.

As our pennies amass, take stock of the totality of what we’re gathering and know: alone we can do a little, but together, we can and will change the world.

Thanks to Nano Poblano, coming posts on Learning to Speak Politics will be focused on seeking and building solutions.

Enough ruminating. There’s work to do!


  1. November 30, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Congrats on making it through the challenge. I knew I couldn’t commit to that and the fact I didn’t write anything over Thanksgiving (total of 5 days) is evidence that I was correct. Perhaps next year.

    I have lots of pennies, I’m ready to fire them out of a shotgun towards whatever will make a difference, no matter how small. Hmm, the name “Penny Shotgun” isn’t that bad ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • November 30, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      I doubt I’ll commit to such a thing again, although I’m glad I did it this once!

      “Penny Shotgun” does have a cool ring to it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. November 30, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    It’s always “progress, not perfection.” As long as, together, we make some progress, we’re moving in the right direction.

    • November 30, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      I’d heard that and understood some small piece of it until recently, but now I really get it! I’m getting it about, oh, twenty years too late in this case, but I’m going to do my best to see that “progress, not perfection” can get us where we need to go. No more waiting for perfection, at potentially fatal expense!

  3. November 30, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    I did not mind in the least reading every day. Awesome job! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • November 30, 2016 at 4:46 pm

      Thank you so much–for reading, for commenting there, and for commenting here! I’m grateful. ♥

  4. November 30, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Well done ๐Ÿ™‚ Very impressive! Especially because you also work, commute and have 2 kids…

    I’ve attempted NaBloPoMo or NaNoWriMo (once both :S) every year since 2007 (or 8?) and never managed either. November is always so crazy (and I tend to fall asleep mid-post). Even posting a single photo per day is beyond me…

    Aiming for future good things instead of focusing on past bad things sounds positive ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. December 1, 2016 at 8:00 am

    When I first started blogging back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, I posted daily. For years I did it, but now can barely get it together to write a couple of times per week. That being said, CONGRATS on completing the challenge. I’m sorry that I didn’t get here to comment more often, but I read what you were writing. I like the idea of casting pennies toward a future good. Marvelous way to frame your writing. And your life.

  1. December 2, 2016 at 12:00 pm
  2. December 3, 2016 at 7:58 am
  3. December 15, 2016 at 4:00 am
  4. December 23, 2016 at 6:55 pm

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