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Good Enough Action

Over and over since I began caring about politics, people have informed me it’s my responsibility to persuade them individually how I’m right.

Yesterday, I got a few comments reflecting this same peculiar idea. Those comments–combined with the many like them I’ve heard recently–highlighted an opportunity for me to be very, very clear about (1) where I’m at and (2) what I hope to achieve. (Hint: It’s not making you agree with me!)

I wrote a little about these things last week:

To borrow my sister’s words, I am interested in doing right overall, not being right in any particular conversation.

If you’re mostly interested in being right, I hope you’ll reconsider. You could save lives.

If you’re interested in doing right, let’s talk. Between us, I know we can do not only right but good.

My point? Action, not belief, will change the external world we share. Doing, not grading how others choose to do or merely believing something, will change the world for the better.

Of course, many important acts will spring from a core belief that something is very wrong in a way that’s hurting lots and lots of people. We don’t have to agree about the scope of what’s wrong, or why it’s wrong, as long as we take action to mitigate what’s wrong.

I expanded upon this last night.


I don’t know much.

I don’t have the practical political answers I desperately seek.

I don’t even know how to find those practical answers, but goodness knows I’m trying. That’s the whole point of my having a blog called “Learning to Speak Politics.” I don’t know, and I’m trying.

I don’t care to argue with you with my limited time.

I don’t have enough time to seek perfection, so I’m aiming for “hopefully good enough.”  We don’t have enough time, as a species, to sit and fastidiously devise some perfect master plan to save the planet and each other. We’ve got to take what steps we can now, and then take better ones as they reveal themselves in the new knowledge we’ve amassed by acting.

I don’t care if you believe me. I will tell you what I believe. You can decide for yourself what to do with that. I spend most my limited free time right now reading, listening, and updating my (mis)understanding as I learn new things. I own that, not responsibility for what you believe or when you believe it.

I don’t control when you listen or if you ever care to hear me.

I don’t care to tailor what I’m doing to please you specifically. If you want to see something different and more persuasive-to-you put into the world than what you’re seeing so far, please go create it. That’s up to you. In the meantime, I’ll use my knowledge, my experience, my passion, and my skills to try many different things I think might reach even one person. Nothing will reach everyone, and some people don’t even want to be reached.

What do I care about, then?

I care about people who are dying needlessly–as I type this–due to powerful lack of concern for their well being by powerful politicians and their funders.

I care about the now-children who will die if adults don’t band together pronto to protect the earth. There’s still hope, if we take decisive action immediately. If not? It’s over.

So if you want to join me and others seeking solutions, great! Let’s ask questions, listen, and hear each other–on the big stuff, themes and patterns, not the nits that are equally easy and unproductive to pick.

I’ve found many good action-oriented resources, which I’d be happy to share; my favorites so far are Brand New CongressDemocratic Socialists of America, and MPACTUS. Still, there’s no guidebook here. I’m doing what I can with what I have.

Don’t like what I’m doing? I enthusiastically urge you to go do better with what you have.

Please! Go! Do it! I’m not about to stop you.

  1. December 15, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Exactly right! I have experienced mild criticism regarding some of my politically themed blogs. As the old saying goes, ‘To thine own self be true.’ Often we write what we deeply feel…with the hope that it will touch someone.

    • December 17, 2016 at 7:31 am

      Yes! Before, I was concerned with reaching more people more of the time (even when I said I wasn’t). I wanted likes and comments. Now, I’m okay without either, and simply hope some of what I say is useful now or later to someone, somewhere. I know there are times it takes me months or years to really hear something someone else told me. I’ll experience something, recall an old conversation, and go, “Wait! This is exactly what [x] meant!” Having that past nugget of wisdom to help me through some present trial is invaluable, though I wouldn’t have known it when I went “um, okay” at the beginning. This is why I sometimes wish I could phone up my mom and say, “I just got it!!! I know you told me 20 years ago, but I just got it!” Fortunately, she was clear about the fact we get things when we get them, so I think/hope she understood I’d see someday … even if that someday came after we chatted face to face about any of it.

  2. December 15, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Not perfect, but ready to think, to change, to feel, resonates with me. Keep writing, keep striving. And thank you for sharing the journey. Your journey.

    • December 17, 2016 at 7:33 am

      Thank you so much for this comment. As we’ve gotten so careful about sharing the best versions of ourselves, I’m concerned at how we’re closed off to the fact it’s all a journey–for ourselves and others. Your comment helped me piece together a little of the puzzle I mentioned in last night’s post. It’ll take me a bit to explain, but the core of it is how important it is for us to share our journeys … and to practice showing grace to ourselves and others as we have this scary, awkward conversations most of us have never really had before. It is a journey, and it’s a journey better undertaken with support. Thank you. ♥

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