By Erin Long
I recently heard something that deeply resonated with me. A couple of podcasters were talking about some of their favorite movies. The podcaster, Sarah Marshall, said one of her most beloved movies had a character that goes from being terribly unhappy to understanding the value of kindness in his daily life. She went on to say this:
“A thought that I’ve had since becoming so pandemic housebound is that like I just manage to avoid really thinking about house work for a lot of my life. Like I would just live like a slovenly bachelor and I still basically do…. But like, I’m trying to be civilized. I think a lot about the fact that the real work of our lives is like housework and housework maybe trains us to do this…. Every good thing that you do or care about, you have to do constantly. And this idea that doing something big one time and being done with it is very illusory.”
That quote hit home for me. I truly dislike the fill-in-the-blank history month but I could never put my finger on the reason. The above quote somehow brought it front and center for me. It is illusory. The idea of dedicating a month to a whole group of people that otherwise regularly experience discrimination or violence or oppression leaves me feeling hollow. There is nothing sincere about it. I don’t care about Black people in February, Women in March, and Asians in April. I care about the struggles of human beings all the time. The real work of Worldwide Speech is not to offer up gestures of support and be done with it.
My work is to always care and to always remember that every human being without exception has value. Every human being feels joy and pain, happiness and sadness, and everything in between. That is my work and I must do it and address it constantly because it is work I truly care about.
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