Welcome again to the Just Post roundtable. After two years of this it is time for change, as you probably have read in last month’s post.
With things like this, like collecting links to blog posts about social justice, and writing about social justice, there always is a doubt whether it’s going to make a difference. Well, it seems that it does. When last month Mad, Jen, and I announced that we would no longer do the Just Posts, De wrote a comment saying,
This morning, right after I got up and affixed my re-usable menstrual pad, I packed my daughter her snack with an aluminum water bottle, and groaned that it was raining again on a Wednesday, when I go to walk dogs at the Humane society. Just the first five minutes of an average day, and everything about it was brought about by the Just Posts.
I also know that this project of ours has changed my life. That the bloggers I read change the way I think about things and people. You can see how much writing on the internet can do if you go over to the Mama to Mama project. This started as an idea, and words written on a blog, too. Amanda Soule, the woman behind this, asked people to donate handmade hats for newborns in Haiti, and now she has 5523 hats, and 169 blankets to send to families in need. It’s amazing and heart-warming to see how words on a computer screen move people, and then, sometimes, they even do something.
This project also shows why I am a bit uneasy about this form of charity. First, I have done nothing but write about it, and put the button on my blog, which feels like not nearly enough. And second, and much more important, while it is marvelous that there will be more than 5,000 babies with hats in Haiti, the real problem is that there is a place on this world (and more than one) where babies have to die because of a lack of hats and blankets. The thought of a nice little cozy baby makes me all fuzzy and warm but then I turn around and there are people who don’t have water to drink, people without food, without medical care, without much of anything in the middle of war. And a few hats won’t change that.
So I beg all of us to do what we can, send money, and hats, and write about things, and put buttons on our blogs, and maybe volunteer a bit, and in the middle of that, please, don’t forget that all of this is political and global. These are big issues that need to be tackled, issues that go beyond giving spare change to beggars.
In the world as it is now, the only way for someone like you and me seems to be to start small. See, De, and I and some others I know are using re-usable hygiene products, and water-bottles, and cloth grocery bags, and while it might seem futile, especially if you’re the only one you know who recycles, and buys organic food, and takes the train or walks instead of driving everywhere, and then there are all these people around you who say it’s all a sham anyway, and that you won’t be making a difference; I tell you: don’t listen! Really. It’s way better to start small, and try, and maybe fail than to shrug your shoulders and say, “I can’t make a difference anyway.”
And so I’m really happy that there still will be Just Posts in 2009 because Alejna from Collecting Tokens and Holly from Cold Spaghetti graciously stepped in and will be continuing the Just Post tradition that is all of two years old now. Thank you very much to you both.
Now here is this month’s list:
Alejna at Collecting Tokens with Coventry Carol
Atherton Bartleby with I think I hate you
Cecilieaux with Cut off Israel now!, It’s a Madoff, Madoff, Madoff, Madoff world,
Liberal, Conservative, Democrat, Republican, Green and Why Conservatism Was Always Doomed
Country Girl with This is a Great idea
De with Mini Rant
defiant muse with harm here is harm there
Em at Social Justice Soapbox with Resolutions for a New Year
Erika with A Day without a gay (or making an actual impact)
girlgriot with Small World…Small City…Small Minds and Not Making People Invisible
Holly with Twelve STIs of Christmas
Jozet with “Redistribute the Wealth” My Hot Green Butt
Paul Newnham with The Day After International Day and Letter to the PM
Rebecca with Big Box vs Buy Local and Small is Beautiful and Affordable
Zoom at Knitnut with Bank Street Bully
The Just Post Brides Farewell Posts:
Alejna with Better for me than a scone and a latte
Bon with At epiphany
Emily with Doin’ it all for my babies
Holly with Example is not the main thing in influencing others it is the only thing Jen (ponderosa) with Fare Thee Well
Kate at Peripheral Vision with Doing More
Magpie with A Just Post Call for Help
Mary G with Resolution in 2009
Metro Mama with An Ongoing Offering
And please, do go over to Jen and Mad, and read their posts too.
You summed it up perfectly, Su. That comment form De last month floored me. All of this has had an impact on the day-to-day of my life too.
thank you, su. for all of it.
the Just Posts have mattered to me, too, and i’m glad to know they’ll continue.
i’ve been hearing a lot of the same things you mentioned…it’s a sham, it doesn’t matter, nobody in China recycles, blah blah blah. i still think what i do makes a difference…maybe a tiny difference, but a difference nonetheless. i think so because i know that all that you and Jen and Mad have done with the JPs has made a difference to ME.
slouching mom says
Thank you, Su. You and your colleagues have been an inspiration to all of us.
Thank you, and your collaborators – and three cheers for Holly & Alejna!
(And, because of you, I sent some hats for Haiti: http://www.magpiemusing.com/2008/11/repurposed-hats-blankets.html)
Just perfect. These are the words I have been searching for to describe the way I am starting to feel about creating a better world. Rather than just ask whether a solution is possible and feeling overwhelmed I find myself asking how am I part of the problem and how can I stop that behaviour also.