I have only blogged once in the past year. I could tell you that it was because my life has been hectic. There were exigent circumstances – there was laundry, housework, dinners, and grocery shopping. My kids have things going on that occupy my time. I had a job – teaching remedial English in a local community college that could support a blog of it’s very own.
All of that is true. All of that has been true since my first kid came home from the hospital. That isn’t why I haven’t been blogging. I haven’t been blogging because I have had many things on my mind that are not funny (which is sort of what I set out to do here – tell the funny stories of parenthood). I have never been afraid to share a serious post here or there, but EVERYTHING I think about lately has been serious in nature. And I haven’t shared any of it because I have been afraid.
“WHAT?!” you say, all slack-jawed at your screen.
Yes, I have been afraid. Not of what I have to say – Lord knows that I will defend my reasoning for every one of my beliefs until the day I die, (or I will listen and contemplate all of the evidence and arguments and shift my opinions accordingly if needed). No, my fear lies in the fact that very few are listening and the belief that I must, therefore, be insignificant.
Do you know that fear – the fear of “insignificance?”
It is crippling.
I experience it as I watch the news, read articles on Facebook, as I sit in on PTA meetings, and as I witness my family and friends make poor decisions. I see things that are wrong – things that are a mistake. Solutions that are tinder for a building fire of misfortune on varying scales and… I bite my tongue.
I think to myself “That’s a mistake.”
And I say nothing.
I bite my tongue because it’s none of my business.
It doesn’t concern me.
Whether it does or does not, I have opinions about it.
I have “thoughts.”
But I have been afraid to say what I think, here where I am supposed to be most comfortable.
I’ve been afraid because I am “just” a mom. I am a Christian. A Southerner. A woman. And I am white.
Common core? I must be biased because one of my kids is failing.
Ferguson? I must be a racist.
Politics? I am just a back woods Alabama gal’…
But I am not.
I am smart. I know that I am.
My opinions are not tinged by where I was brought up, by whom, how, or when. My initial reactions might be, but not my opinions.
My opinions are forged in sleepless nights contemplating the facts of whatever is occupying my mind; and a lot occupies my mind.
And I feel insignificant.
I have opinions, just like everyone else. I have ideas of how things could be handled better. I have ideas of how to improve. But I am “just a woman,”… “just mom,” … “just a Southerner,” …
But we are a nation of “justs,” and none of us are insignificant. That is the beauty of our society and our government – no one is insignificant. (Or at least they shouldn’t be).
Yet, I’d be willing to bet that every one of you reading this has an opinion on Common Core, vaccination mandates, nutrition standards in schools, Ferguson, ISIS, gay rights, business rights, individual rights, etc. So why don’t you have a blog spouting off about what you believe and what you think the “right thing” is?
Because you are afraid of being insignificant.
Well…stop that. Stop being afraid to say what you think. You’re thoughts are valid and important. They are just as valid as the next guy’s. Since when do a bunch of politicians know what is best for you?
STOP keeping your thoughts and opinions to yourself.
I may not have been sharing all of the thoughts and opinions here, on my blog, but I have been writing to my senators. I have written about the rights for parents, for business owners, for individuals, for midwives, for parents – you name it – but I have written to those who are supposed to be my “voice” in the arenas that matter, because I have realized something….
No one cares what I think.
No one is obligated to, except the ones that I help put into office. They are the ones with the power. And if they are smart enough, they realize that we, the insignificant, are the ones that gave them that power. Trust me, they want to keep it.
So tell them what you want.
Don’t tell me – I am insignificant – tell them.
Do you think that businesses ought to have the right to uphold the principles that they utilized to establish their business?
Do you think that mothers ought to have the right to home birth?
Do you think that Common Core is great, or should be abolished?
What is your opinion on ISIS?
Do you think that the government should be held responsible for their part in… well, anything?
Your opinions matter.
Tell your congressman.
Don’t tell me (the individual blogger) – I am insignificant.
But you (the citizen) are not.
And neither am I.