Last night was a rough night at work. What I do is usually pretty fulfilling. I can, after all, say I am now a professional activist. It is nice to know that I am working to be part of the solution. Every once in a while though you have one of those days.
Easily two-thirds of the people who answered their doors last night slammed them right back in my face. Most waited until the word “environmental” got out of my mouth, some did so as soon as the name of the organization I work for was mentioned. Of those that actually listened, all but three berated me as a liar or idiot. I know the subject matter, I have read and understood the pros and cons of hyrdrofracking and the cons way out strip the pros.
It is hard to take. I felt the familiar darkness creeping around the edges of my vision. Cold, creeping thoughts worked their way into my brain and for a bit I went back to a very bad place. Then I got my first, and only, yes of the night. I won’t get into details but I will say this person was in a difficult position but still managed to help. I realized that humanity is not irredeemably bad.
I promised myself Wednesday, on what would have been my mom’s 58th Birthday to knuckle down, be aggressive and ask big. I did that because the cancer that took her was rare, and though the DEC denies it, the chemicals carelessly leaked into the ground in the neighborhood she grew up in likely had something to do with it. I pledged to go after anyone who is so reckless with the public health in any fashion I can, and to, though many will not be able to afford it, seek out the big contributions, because we need them in our struggle.
I still don’t know if we all need a purpose, but I have one, and it will help me keep those hounds at bay. Ultimately I don’t fight against anything (even fracking) I fight for something. I fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. The poor in rural counties that will see their communities trashed. The poor in the cities who will not be able to afford the bottled water they will need. The women who are told their bodies are not their own. Anyone who needs someone to stand up for them. There are too many targets out there, and too many people willing to bully them, but I will stand where I should have been all this time, between those two groups.