By Victoria Lynn Hall
“Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win.”Atticus Finch
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Politics are really depressing right now for those of us who understand the need for drastic, fundamental changes to what is an increasingly unjust and unsustainable system for many people. Time and time again we see our efforts thwarted; our heroes smeared, undermined or even persecuted; our leaders and movements co-opted by the forces they were meant to oppose; our most pessimistic predictions come true; our worst fears realized.
I’m sure I am not the only one who asks the person in the mirror at least once a day, “why do I even bother?”
For me that question is answered every time I hear the story of someone who is struggling because of a government that doesn’t bother enough for the people it is supposed to represent and because not enough people bother enough to challenge it. Stories of diabetics who can’t afford their insulin; stories of people who have lost their jobs and/or homes; stories of mothers who can’t afford to feed their children; stories of veterans who are unsure of their will to live after all they have seen and endured; stories of children who face hardship and uncertainty that robs them of just being children; stories like the one that teenage refugee, Emma Melgar Arita lived and shared in this interview for At The Crossroads with Mary Hollywood:
If we don’t bother for children like Emma, who will? And if things are this bad with us bothering, how much worse would they be if we didn’t bother at all?
The answer to me is not to stop bothering but to let ourselves get even more bothered by what is happening now; to not give in to despair but to transform it into determination, creativity and bold effort; to make peace with the enormity of our challenge and believe in the possibilities that are awakened by small but consistent efforts.
Nothing will change if we don’t believe we can change it. And if we’re wrong, we will still know we were right to try.
I’m so grateful to Michael Harrington and everyone involved in All Children At All Borders for organizing the Mother’s Day Virtual Summit and bothering me and my fellow contributors here at Amplifire Project to help amplify this event and this very important cause of helping child refugees. Please click here to sign up and attend the Summit and help us imagine a world without incarcerated children.
Watch/listen to our full episode below or on YouTube where you can subscribe to all of our video content.
A Los Angeles native, Jesse Crall graduated from UCLA’s English Department before working as a copywriter, script reader and project manager for an engineering firm.
A self taught artist and creative entrepreneur, Victoria Lynn Hall lives in the Kansas City area with 4 spoiled cats. She believes in art and the magic of kindness.