Kind Promise: I will advocate courageously.

note to self: pay attention

source: Susan Russo

A few weeks ago, a political activist stopped me in a park. He was campaigning for a particular candidate. He asked me if I was familiar with the Citizens United decision. I said I was. He asked me if I knew about efforts to tighten up voter registration. I said I did. He asked me if I remembered the. Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform act. I said yes to that too. He asked me how I could possibly be so well-informed. I said my parents taught me it was important to pay attention.

In her speech to the Democratic convention, Michelle Obama talked about values learned from previous generations. My parents believed that Thomas Jefferson had it right: “”An informed citizenry is the only true repository of the public will.” In order to express an opinion, my well-educated parents suggested, one needed to learn about issues and the world.

A week ago I remembered that this month’s Kind Promise is to advocate courageously. “What was I thinking?” I wonder.

Advocacy is “the act of pleading for, supporting, or recommending” a cause, group or person. Did I mean myself? Did I mean others?

Creating the rules of this game as I go, what would I like to do this month? It will be quite a month: we will be moving our household and I will be finishing a major project at work. Taking on a Whole New Thing – even theoretically – would not be merciful to myself. So then what?

I recognize (dimly) that I am already an advocate. Every blogger is an advocate. I will set myself the task, this month, of becoming more conscious about what it is I advocate.

In addition, I would like to investigate my urges to work toward social justice. What might that look like? What action can I take? What causes invite my energy? What are other people and organizations doing in those arenas?

Here I go…