Back before Christmas, I ordered a new hoodie from the Human Rights Campaign. It has a simple rainbow equality graphic on the front, a simplicity that I find appealing. I woke up to a cooler morning than we’ve had lately and decided to wear the hoodie on my morning walk with Mimi. I also decided to take a few selfies in the bathroom mirror before we left the house. I knew I wanted to post a new essay here and thought the shots might inspire me to add something to my self-portrait series.
Walking is always a good time for thinking. As Mimi and I walked to and through the park and then back home again, enjoying the morning sun, I was thinking about how much the small things do matter. We have a tendency to feel powerless in the face of the monumental issues that face us on the national and global levels. We also often think that change must come from a large, unified movement. There is truth to that. But the small things do matter, too. Think about it.
What if we walked into a grocery store one day and every single person standing in line refused to accept plastic bags? It wouldn’t take long for the store to stop using them. What if we, each one of us, simply refused to denigrate anyone because of gender, religious or non-religious affiliation, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation? What if we simply stopped patronizing those companies who do? What if we chose to display our support for equality on a tee shirt or a hoodie? What if we make a small effort every single day, each one of us, to reject fear in favor of hope? Would things change? I believe they would. Because our expectations would change. Because we would expect better of ourselves as well as others.
So by all means, march and engage in the big things. Those are important. But never lose sight of the small things and their inherent power to bring change. There is always something we can do. Each one of us.
(Vanity note to self: Yes, it’s okay to look old-ish. Jowls and wattles are a sign of wisdom? Or something like that.
More important note to self: Yep, anger matters, too. Use it.)