My husband writes letters to the editor; he corresponds with our elected officials; and he speaks at town meetings. My in-laws donate large sums of money to their causes. My mother is a voting official and a veteran of the Women's Army Corps. My father watches Fox News from his well-worn armchair and screams at Alan Colmes.
Me? I suppose I've got some causes. But my passion is not so much political as it is practical. It's a palpable presence in my life all day, every day. It's how I make friends; it's why I have enemies. It's the reason I write. It feeds the fire of my fierce American pride. It's the thing I could not live without and it's the reason I'm grateful to those who have died to secure it.
It's freedom of speech. I will not censor myself and I will not allow others to do it for me. I find the exchange of ideas to be the ultimate form of honesty and the only way to find truth. It's ingrained in the basic functioning of my brain: I cannot really comprehend something until I get it out in the open, preferably on paper. It's the act of expressing something that makes it real to me. It's no exaggeration to say that if I couldn't write, I couldn't think--not deeply, not in a way that creates change.
The antithesis is fear. If I am afraid, or if my goverment is afraid, I cannot express myself. Then what am I? I am quiet and confused. I'm bored and bitter. I am everything that is wrong with the world.
Her Bad Mother gave us bloggers a call to action. She asked us to write about a cause we're passionate about, and to provide links, information and guidance. Well, I have no resources for you. No links. Not much in the realm of guidance. But I have my own call to action.
This weekend, shock someone with your honesty. Leave wide eyes and gaping mouths in your wake. Make someone think. Make someone laugh. Do a dance. Take your child to the library for your own banned book story time. Send an overdue thank-you note. Change someone's mind.