Category Archives: Politics

In which I decide reality is the better option

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So, I have activist friends. I’m so proud of them for supporting their beliefs with passion and vigor!

The catch that I’ve found? My activist friends (whose causes I completely support, mind you!) all support….

*Freedom in Birth Choices

*Home Birth

*Birth Education

*Anti-GMO foods

*Celiac awareness

*Invisible Illness Awareness

*Occupy Spokane/Wall St/Life

*Gay Rights

*Pagan rights

*Freedom of religions

*Fair Trade

*Organic

*Locally Grown Foods

*Local Merchants

*Urban Homesteading

*Victory/Peace Gardening

*Putting up/Putting by

*Grow your own food

*Homeschool

*Unschool

And I don’t think that’s even a complete list. Those are just what I can think of off the top of my head. All of those things, I celebrate and I’m glad to support. However, I have learned over the years that I am not one of those endlessly energetic people who can dedicate so much of themselves that everything becomes a battle for the rights of stuff.

As I read about it, though, and as I study the causes and the politics and everything else, I realize that I feel bad if I can’t do it all. And that’s when I realized that I could really, really burn myself out to a hollow, ashen husk trying to do everything all at once. I read about this woman who grows all her own food, and that woman who homeschools nine children while baking from scratch, and this guy over there who was brained during a not-riot on Wall Street, and I think “I should be able to grow my own food and bake and homeschool and protest and can and still find time to be beautiful and herbal and grow my own medicines and…” then I realize that these are literally hundreds of different people. I do not have a single person, be it blogger or personal friend, who does EVERYTHING on this list.

And then I realize that I don’t have to. I don’t have to feel guilty. What I need to do is find something that I can reasonably commit to, and do so. It isn’t practical for my family to grow their own food and can it all every fall and never need to buy another store-bought apple. It isn’t realistic to expect that I can have a spotless house with fresh, homemade food on the table every single meal that I make in between waving signs downtown.

I mean, we don’t even -have- a table.

These people I see who seem to do everything, they must have worked up to it. They didn’t just decide one day “You know what? I’m going to have a perfect house and a perfect meal and never hit my kids and take ballet and music lessons and march with the protest.” They started out staring around their house, just like I am, wondering how on Earth a child with so few toys can still have them scattered from here to the back door. They slowly transitioned from plastic toys to wooden- or they planned ahead before they had kids and they worked on it then. They started with a tomato plant and a garden bed full of lettuce and carrots and other easy to grow plants, and then moved on from there.

They started with what reality gave them, and moved practically from one step to the next.

So then, shall I. Practically speaking, we cannot afford to dive into organic, local produce and meats exclusively. I can’t afford six bucks a dozen for eggs. But I can, practically speaking, start using my breadmaker to make whole-grain dough that I can bake up for my family, and that’s a step in the right direction for their health. I can buy hormone free milk, even though it costs a dollar more- even if it’s just for the kids and the grownups get to suffer through the cheap milk.

I can make my son’s birthday cake with whole-wheat flour, even if I’m not willing to cut out the white sugar yet. I can make whole wheat flour oatmeal raisin cookies as treats for his party instead of sugar cookies covered in bright frosting. I can put out a veggie tray for tiny toddler hands (and olders!) to devour while they play, and splurge on organic tomatoes from the produce section for his tacos. I can buy organic apples, since they’re highest in pesticides- even if I don’t buy organic everything else.

I can support a cause, but I can’t support every cause. I can’t donate to everything that pulls on my heart, so instead I can dedicate myself to something that really matters to -me-, personally, because I live it. I can encourage herbalism and provide first aid and care for protesters who have no health insurance. I can talk openly about breastfeeding and birth and choices. These are things that matter to me- providing people with the means to make a choice- a true, informed choice, so nobody ever feels trapped.

I can’t be everything, but I’ve decided that realistically, I can certainly be something, and I can be that something quite well.

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Politics: Something is changing in my head

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My world is changing.

I’m beginning to realize that my beliefs in life shouldn’t be the political norm.

It’s strange to me, because I don’t do well with politics. I am easily influenced and easily persuaded by pretty words and fancy propaganda. I get emotional easily.

But I’ve been studying recently, and it begins to occur to me that just because I believe something doesn’t mean it should become the law. Whether or not I support gay marriage is moot. Whether I’m Christian or pagan or Muslim should not change what my nation allows or doesn’t allow. The fact is, it’s not my decision based on my morality.

This is new to me.

I grew up being told (and believing) that this was a Christian nation and that we (as good Christians) should vote for things and people that upheld that belief. We should vote against gay marriage because being gay is wrong. We should support prayer in schools (but only Christian prayer). We should be vocal in our insistence that abortion is wrong, and that people who were other religions didn’t have the right to practice those in this good, patriotic, Christian nation.

It wasn’t until I was grown up more that I started to get confused. Why were only Christians allowed to pray in schools? Why was it wrong for a guy to fall in love with another guy?

I got my answer in the form of Scripture quotes. It wasn’t until much later that I started to wonder why -my- religion was so much more right than someone else’s religion. I don’t remember who first mentioned to me that since no religion can be proven (proven in the scientific sense, with absolute, repeatable proof), all religions were a matter of opinion.

My mom… while she didn’t deny it, she also frowned as she agreed, and then quickly clarified though that we knew we were right and that our God existed because we had experienced Him in such a way as to make it undeniable.

Later, I realized that other people have experienced their own gods in such a way as to be undeniable as well. And in the end, I realized that quoting Scripture is still part of someone’s opinion, and it shouldn’t be a part of our government.

I still don’t understand politics very well. I’m susceptible to rhetoric (I looked up the definition- it was initially defined as ‘the art of using language well’ but now carries the additional connotation of  ‘Language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience, but is often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content‘).  But I have come to the conclusion that whether I find something right or wrong based on my religion doesn’t mean that everyone should have to obey my laws.

What I believe is irrelevant outside my own life. I’m just starting to realize this- but it’s making a difference. Now I’m not asking “How can I make you see my side?” Now I’m asking myself  “Why should this apply to everyone, regardless of race, creed, religion, or political standpoint?” I’m asking myself “Who is being hurt by this law?”

I’m asking myself “Why”…  and “Why not?”

This is a new experience for me.