Sinéad O’Hart blogged the following, powerful entry today on “tipping points”. There was one paragraph in particular which really nailed how I feel about starting up Walking on Thin Ice and advocacy in general. Sinéad knows what my “tipping point” was in deciding to start the contest – she saw my many Tweets of Rage before I deleted them – and this quote really had me nodding my head in recognition.
I can’t change the world through politics or diplomacy, or with money or influence; all I can do is put words together into sentences, and hope they’re good enough to read. But if everyone did what they could – in fact, if everyone was permitted to do whatever they could, however humble – to add their thread to the picture, then I think we’d be in a much better position. However, because there are so many in the world who are not allowed to add their voice to the collective melody, it’s even more important that all of us who can do something actually do it. I am a privileged person – free, healthy, and protected – and I owe it to those who possess none of these gifts to do whatever is in my power to make the world better for those who will come after us.
“Permitted” – that is the word. That’s where it gets dangerous. Because once we admit that we are permitted but others are not, then we implicitly call out the powerful forces that permit, that do not permit. And that provokes the forces that we have traditionally tiptoed around.