“Every once in a while it’s important to ‘preach to the choir’ and reinvigorate and reinforce the conversation. Differing and complementary as our approaches are, they make up the structure of a very real and young world that is tremendously conscious and global. I like to recognize it and I definitely want to live in it.” ~ Rosario Dawson
I’m currently reading Do It Anyway - The New Generation of Activists by Courtney E. Martin in which she profiles eight young activists. She includes the message above, which is from Rosario Dawson, one of the activists profiled.
There are a couple of things I liked about this brief passage.
1. I freaking love preaching to the choir. That’s why I’ve launched The Kin Project to friends and family first - they mostly think like I do about some crucial issues. (Or they’re just really good at hiding their differing beliefs.)
2. I agree that the world is “tremendously conscious”. The news would have us believe that ignorance and hate rules, but there are so many lovely, amazing people out there doing incredible things to try and counter the foulness reported daily.
There’s another passage in the opening pages of this book that always resonates with me. I, like most people, have read it numerous times before. That’s because it’s also written on the wall in Mother Theresa’s home for children in Calcutta. It’s worth repeating here:
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
The whole idea of ‘Do It Anyway’ was what made me pick up Courtney Martin’s book in the first place. In starting The Kin Project, I’ve realised that I’m crossing into waters that definitely make me feel out of my depth. I’m not entirely at ease with earnestly encouraging people to do good. It’s far more appealing to just sit back and roll my eyes - both at the idiocy in the news and at all the sanctimonious faux-outrage at the idiocy in the news. I'm much more comfortable posting a few sarcastic memes on social media now and then but otherwise refraining from putting myself out there.
The problem is, I have kids. Those little buggers may drive me up the wall, but they also make me want to make the world a better place (cue eye roll) because they, and all the other chubby innocents wandering around, deserve it. While, clearly, The Kin Project is not going to solve all the world’s problems, at least it makes me feel like I’m doing *something* to address all the absolutely insane nonsense that humans inflict on themselves, each other, and the world around them.
So, despite this feeling an awful lot like when I'm applying make up and genuinely have no clue as to what I'm doing, I’ll do it anyway.