Most everybody’s got a cause. I’ve got a few myself. But a confession: I don’t have energy for every cause, maybe not yours.
It’s true that one way to damn the world is to not give a rip. It’s also true that one way to damn yourself is to try to live someone else’s vision. If we’re living another’s life or laboring to match another’s efforts, it’s often because we fear being ostracized or being seen as ignorant or uncultured. This story does not end well.
I do believe that every speck of our world matters. I wish good for every endangered Blue-and-Orange Threadtail, and I wish not a single tree ever fell needlessly. I cringe (and when I’m too calloused to cringe, I wish I cringed) at each wave of injustice, each wrong that must be righted. What’s more, I wish to go on the record in official opposition to every disease, every environmental abuse, every political transgression, every theological travesty. However…
When we care about everything in general, it’s difficult to care about anything in particular. And there are certain people and certain places I simply must love … in particular.
Not every battle that must be fought is mine to fight. We each have our place. We each have our voice. The beauty of a life together is that I can work here while you work there, and somehow in this strange way, we’re working together for the good, for the joy.
And that’s a crucial word: joy. Joy offers a cue, signaling what our unique work must be, where our voice must speak. What gives you rich joy when you put your heart and energy to it? And conversely, what brings you piercing sorrow whenever that work is left undone? Answer those two questions, and I think you’ve hit your spot pretty near the center.
Even the revolutionary Emma Goldman recognized this. “If I can’t dance,” she said, “it’s not my revolution.”
*all protest signs are the opinion of the sign-holder and do not represent the editorial opinion of the management of this blog, it’s advertisers or global subsidiaries. To be more specific, we make no assertion that God hates ponies. We do not in fact know God’s opinion one way or the other on ponies. Other than the fact that God made ponies. God also made donuts.