Being a mom and an activist isn’t easy, but for my children to be able to grow up in the world I want them to live in, it is something that I have to do. I want my children to live in a world that is balanced, clean and healthy. I have three children. I work full time. I blog. I’m involved with my community and my church. It is a lot and sometimes one area suffers so that I can focus on another area.
I’m thankful for the internet and social media, so I can reach out to people more quickly and broadly than ever before. I once had the opportunity to meet Marion Stoddart, who made huge changes in our country – she is the mother of the Clean Water Act. When Marion was doing her activism she had to write letters, make phone calls and meet people in person to make a difference. That was huge.
For me to be able to have the impact I want to have I not only have to do my part, but I have to preach to the choir so that it sings loudly enough to be heard outside the “church.” I forget where I heard that concept, but I love it. A little pressure on politicians and people in power doesn’t hurt either.
Last year I went to movie night at my kids’ school. The PTO brings in a movie, pizza and popcorn. It’s both a fundraising and bonding night. When I got there I pulled out the recycling bin and helped move the recycling along. People were happy to recycle once the bin was there and a few people thanked me for getting it out.
Last week I went to movie night at my kids’s school again. When I got there, the recycling bin was already out, front and center, and it was being used. One of the other moms said to me “look, we got the recycling bin out.” I told her how thrilled I was that it was out, and that they had gotten it out before I got there. You cannot begin to imagine the warm fuzzies this gave me. Not just because they were recycling, but because someone else had taken the initiative to get it started themselves. I really felt like my preaching to the choir had worked, because now I have faith that I don’t have to be there for the right thing to happen.
I put the first paragraph of this post on Facebook to drum up conversation and CelloMom On Cars shared the following story told by Nancy Schimmel (of the Green Songbook):
“Back when nuclear weapons was the big scare, a Seattle teacher asked her third-graders whether they thought there would be a nuclear war. All but one did. She complimented the hold-out on her bravery in voicing a minority-of-one opinion, and asked why she held it. “Because my parents are working to stop it,” the child answered.”
I’m doing what I do not just because I want to live in a world where we’re not scared of natural disasters and where I’m not concerned that every food my children eat, every toy they play with and the bedding they sleep in is not slowly making them sick or shortening their lives. I do this because I want my children to have hope that they will live in a good, safe world too.
I do, and don’t do, a lot for my children, but the most important thing I can give them is hope.
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