While updating my local Pagan Pride Day website (yes, there IS such a thing as Pagan Pride, and yes, I run one in my hometown), I had two thoughts; first, that I really like being an activist. Seven years ago I heard about Pagan Pride Day and decided, with no experience, my mentor out of town, and an extremly tiny local Pagan scene, that what the Soo needed was a PPDay. So I did it. I was fresh out of highschool and I still remember the teasing questions about being openly Pagan, about love spells and the Burning Times. The event was a success only in that we were able to perform a public ritual to bless the donations given to our food bank. I think we had maybe 5 people wander by while we sat in the cold drizzle in September at the park. Every year since has been much more successful and fulfilling. Thought number two was; I really hope I make a lasting difference in the world.
When I see something that's blatantly wrong or unfair, I have to speak up. I really don't know how to keep quiet, and really, why should I? By calling someone out on their hate, ignorance, discrimination, or whatever, I'm creating positive change (I hope!). The Berenstien Bears Don't Pollute Anymore book had me picking up garbage in my neighborhood with friends and began a lasting education into environmentalism and my impact on the world. In highschool I joined OSAID (Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving) and was president for 3 years because I HATED the thought that people were dying because of something so stupid as drinking and driving. I wrote a letter to the editor in favor of Canada adopting gay marriage that was published. Then came the first Pagan Pride, then Prop. 8 and speaking out at city hall to support the LGBTQ community in the States. Last fall at the Student Day of Action I talked about what it's like to be a student living in poverty, trying to pass your classes and keep food on the table, asking for welfare and getting denied. 2008 started off really really shitty. Amnesty International's letter writing campaign caught my attention in December but I didn't have enough time to really get much done. Next year I will though.
There's so much I want to DO! So many places where I see improvements need to be made; human rights, women's rights, education, food and water protection, environmental cleanups (thanks BP!), religious tolerance and of course, fat acceptance. I want to make a difference, I feel like I have too, or my life has been for nothing. At 26, with a great family, a degree and a long history of doing stuff, this is ridiculous, but I still feel like I haven't done enough. Realistically, there's only so much one person can do, but I honestly feel if we all do our best, every day, it will be enough. It has to be.