Thursday, September 20, 2007

On black armbands and hope

I'm wearing a black armband Friday to protest the war in Iraq. It's part of a national movement (see to break your daily routine the 3rd Friday of each month as a public demonstration of how many people want the war to end.

So when I go to the doctor's office, when I wait in the driver's license office for my new 16-year-old to get her license, I'll be wearing something I haven't put on since we protested the Vietnam War in high school. Maybe someone will ask about it. Maybe I'll have a chance to engage someone in a conversation.

One thing I know for sure - it is a pitiful and lame response to the catastrophe that is Iraq, and as glad as I am that there is something I can do it feels almost worse than doing nothing. No soldier will evade an IED because of my armband. No wife will get her husband back earlier because of my piece of cloth. No Iraqi family will get to stay in their home instead of leaving everything behind just to survive, because I have a different wardrobe one day a month.

But it is something, I guess. As we learn from quantum physics, the smallest change in the smallest particle is still a change. Enough small changes, and pretty soon everything is going in a different direction.

Small changes can coalesce when we little people take a stand and then recognize a fellow spirit. When I'm walking through my neighborhood and I see a blue dot sticker, I smile, I recognize a kindred spirit, I don't feel so alone and I feel like maybe I can do something more. I feel hope.

I might only be a quark (a blue quark in a red photon field?) but I can do something. And maybe it will give me the courage to do more.

"Maybe life's meaning is not so much found, as it is made." Opus, by Berke Breathed


Anonymous said...

Did you protest when Clintoon bombed christians in Bosnia? Do you march in front of abortion clinics? Do their lives matter to you? Or do you understand the difference between an innocent baby and an adult who volunteered to fight?

Alabama Blue Dot said...

Anonymous, I appreciate your passion for your cause. No, I did not protest any of the actions in Bosnia - but it seemed at the time that it was the right thing to do. I would never protest in front of an abortion clinic - I believe a woman should control whether she gives birth or not - but I certainly support the right to protest. My protest of the Iraq war has less to do with our soldiers who did volunteer than with the tens of thousands of Iraqui civilians, including an awful lot of innocent babies, who had no say in the matter.

But thank you for reading my blog and I hope you'll come back and comment often. The more traffic I get, the better I look to Google.