I’ve been keeping with the club streak, did a nice 5 today. My ankles are still sore, they’re not going to get better this week that’s for sure, but I’ll keep plodding along. I don’t do these streaks for the prize (we get cups or mugs or such for completion), I don’t do it to brag about it on here, in fact, I hope no one ever takes anything on here as me bragging. I do it for a few reasons, first is that I actually like my running club, it’s full of cool and interesting people. That sense of feeling, belonging you get. But I also do it for the people who can’t do it, the people who are sick, hurt, or otherwise cannot participate, yet want to. I feel it would be insulting to them, and their desire if I didn’t get out there an run while i had the chance. Lastly, I do it for the people who are also doing it and are struggling, and may want to quit. Now there’s nothing wrong with dropping out of such a venture if you’re truly overwhelmed by it, or have injured yourself or some such. But just the people struggling with the logistics, the desire, I want to keep them motivated. Because I know when they finish, if they finish, they will feel great about themselves for it. Not so they’ll feel grateful to me, but that they’ll feel grateful to themselves and for themselves.
I don’t know if I talk about this enough or if I talk about it too much, life seems very easy for me to most people who witness me. This is not true, it can be a true struggle. Outwardly, I stay as happy as I can, I stay as confident as I can. I know I know the things I know. Even if I can’t quite you the exact peer-reviewed study, I know it’s there and it’s just a matter of me googling it. I know I’m pretty strong and exceptionally capable with many things. I have a good mind for figuring out how to get things done. I’ve certainly watched enough “Primitive Technology” to know how to survive pretty well if civilization came crashing down without an extinction event. That’s all exterior though, inside I’m rife with doubt, anxiety, even depression, and negativity. It is exceptionally difficult for me to actually be happy with myself. But I keep fighting, because I know letting that stuff win doesn’t do any good at all.
Why do I mention this? Simple, it’s my motivation for what I write, how I treat other people, how I act in public when I’m not motor-mouthing out of anxiety. I don’t ever want any other human being to feel the way I do inside. I want to make sure other people have the strength to fight whatever they have going on inside them. I want to make sure that their inner struggles don’t consume them. It’s a very tall order, and in the end I really have no control over that, just as I have no control over anything else in the Universe. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t at least try, because maybe I fail 9 times out of 10, but that tenth time, that person is helped. I don’t need to know that I helped even, I don’t need to be thanked, it’s just the thing to do. I’m a builder, it’s what I do. Every job I’ve ever had I’ve looked at the tasks I do like I’m building something, even when I’m not. As a teacher, I’m building better English users. Every day I’m (hopefully) building lessons which entertain and inform.
In the same strain, I hope that here I am building people to think more critically, and participate more in the outside world. To hopefully build a world that is truly fair, just, good for all people, and good for all life. I always try and work in what the reader, and what I could do, to bring about real, substantive change in the world, to fix the wrongs we see. On my private social media, what is that, I tend to be more of a complainer, but I still try and argue (when people bother to actually argue) what concrete thing can be done to fix that issue.
I see a lot of people who spend so much time complaining about National politicians, I do my fair share, but they particularly go after national politicians who have retired, or are not going to run for anything anymore. They say they want to bring that side over to them by doing this. But beating the head that’s already been removed from the Hydra isn’t going to change anything. I tell my friends, you have to get your town nominating committee to get the candidates you want on your BOE, Town Council, in the Mayor’s Office, Police Commission, State Representatives, States Senators. You do that Nationwide (As I’ve said here a million times) then any party you subscribe to will change, nationally. That’s what the Tea Baggers, those racist, Nazi fucks, did to the GOP. You want to move the national party away from whatever, you want to build a third party into a force, that’s what you have to do. Get 150 people into your town nominating meeting, all backing the same candidate you do. Repeat that in every town, everywhere you can, watch how quickly things change. The Tea Party had lots of corporate cash helping them, it’s a large reason it spread so quickly, but still. The principle is the same.
I see so much wasted effort, I see so much energy going in the wrong direction. There will never be a Red October in the US. The only hopes are either a complete societal collapse, or enough people pulling this very heavy weight in the right direction long enough that real change happens. Either way, I’m good. If the world ends, I did everything I could, if the world is saved, I did everything I could.
I’m proud to say that this year saw the largest number of personal friends voted into elected office. I have wonderful friends serving in different capacities in four different municipalities, in more than one state and some who serve in state legislative bodies, among others. I know I didn’t encourage all of them, I may not have been a factor for any of them, I don’t know, and it doesn’t matter. I say you have to get involved locally, and they have. I know these people are regardless of their party affiliation I know they are going to do what is right for the people they represent, which is pretty cool. How do I know this? They are my friends, generally that’s how I pick friends. Not really but it seems to work that way, I find people who excel at doing the right thing.
That’s the trick that’s the goal. Go out and do the right thing. But never think you can stop at “If only this would happen, then this could happen.” Ok, either figure out how to make the first condition true, or leave it alone. If you can’t make something happen, then you need to find a different plan of attack. This means you have to start small, and you have to build, and you have to keep building, until you get things the way you think they should be. But if all you’re doing is pointing out the faults, or just making plans which can never be actualized, you’re not doing anything at all. Just because I’m saying that doesn’t mean I don’t see the enormous issues which need to be fixed immediately, I think anyone who reads this frequently, knows I know this all too well. But the fact is it’s not going to happen overnight, we need to take what we can when we can, and keep trying for more. Put another way, I cannot take down a whole mountain tomorrow, but if I convince enough of my friends, and enough strangers that we need to take down that mountain, we sure can do it. Not just because I don’t have the physical strength, but I may not have the best ideas, I may not know the best technology to use, I may not know the weaknesses of the geology of that mountain, but a friend might, a sympathetic stranger might.
So don’t just think of what’s wrong, figure out how to fix it, that’s the point, that’s always the point. Find people to work with.
Have fun, keep running, and remember; if Gil can run then so can you!
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