Monday, September 08, 2008

What Stops You from Acting?

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You can imagine how amped up I was when I noticed that the
100 Visionary widget jumped $40 this weekend. While I was amped
up about it this summer, my essays have taken over as my 
dominant focus in the last few weeks or so. I admit that this is largely
connected to the fact that  three weeks ago, I accepted that many folks
would rather just talk  about "the problem" than take action.

Which brings me to the question.

What stops you from acting?

Is it time, not knowing what do to or where to go?

For me, it is a fear of whether people will show up

Now this is odd, especially since I blog about a pretty
niche topic, Hip Hop, Feminism, Sexuality and Politics,
yet I have a healthy and consistent readership.

People like you show up every day to read, so part of 
me had to check myself, as that was clearly evidence
that people do show up. However, reading is not the same
as coming together the purposes of addressing an issue.

On the other hand, I believe the people want to do good. I am not
saying that I don't think they don't have a darkside, because they do.
I just also know that they want to do good as well.

I have an old friend that would always say that my naivete would get me
in trouble one day. As I have gotten older, I have learned that many
folks are out for self and that it is prudent for me to allow
their actions to confirm who they are instead of just granting
everyone the benefit of the doubt on gp.

Since deciding to do 100 V I was finding that every time I encountered
a person, I wonder are they really real or are they just talking that yack.

For instance, when thinking about the reflection retreats I mentioned to Filthy
that I should try and form like Voltron with the other bloggers and he was like,
"it is important that you keep in mind that many Bloggers, may just be that,
bloggers, they just want to talk. Just because they blog, they may not be
interested in taking action."

He didn't mean no disrespect, he was just trying to get me to recognize real.

Which brings me to the widget. 

Baldwin says to act is to commit and to commit is to be in danger.
I add on that to commit is to commit to personal transformation
and that is what stops folks from acting. To commit to transform is 
bugged out ish, because by its very nature you are stepping out on faith.

In the past three weeks I have been reading essays and books about 
Black Women Organizers, Street Harassment, The History of Black Feminism, 
Wage Suppression, German Social Theory.

The difficult part is taking what I read, sharing it, and figuring out
how to use it to address some of the ish that we face every day.

Its hard, because the whole time, in my head, "They ain't gonna show up,
folks just wanna complain, blar, blar, blar".

Then I have moments like the other day when I am in Au Bon Pain,
a fancy Starbucks like coffee and sandwich chain, and the 
Black lady operating the cash register is saying "This company don't care about
me, they don't pay me even a tiny fraction of what I make for them all day"
and I think to myself, wow, did she just do the knowledge to "surplus value"
and man I wish I had a flyer for these Hip Hop and Feminism study groups,
I would give one to her.

It was at that moment that regardless of the doubts that I had, that little moments
would come along and push me towards acting, whether I would accept them
as they nudge they were or not was up to me.

What stops you from acting when you see something taking place
that you know is wrong

What have you told yourself, in order to walk away from a problem?

What stops you from taking the step from talking to action?

10 comments:

JK said...

Sometimes I have been guilty of just not caring enough to act on something. Sometimes I have my own big problems to deal with. But when it comes to internal problems I am guilty of avoiding some because they may be difficult to the point where I feel overwhelmed. Not a good reason, but the truth.

Cynthia said...

I think I -- like you -- don't believe people will show up. I'm not slamming the ATL but most people here don't really care about being enlightened about anything (well, some are). So, for me to take a stand...at times, I feel I'm just one person what can I do to rock this proverbial boat.

What I've come to realize lately is that I want too. I just have to figure out the "HOW" sooner than later.

Good post.

M.Dot. said...

Sometimes I have been guilty of just not caring enough to act on something
=====

Lets see what you say after tomorrow. Smile. Wink.

M.Dot. said...

I feel I'm just one person what can I do to rock this proverbial boat
====

Thats so real.

Which leads me to another question. How do we get people
to feel that they are not alone.

Or...is that a conclusion that they have to come to on their own.

Thank you for commenting.

Keep coming back.

rationalpsychic said...

I'm still thinking about what you're saying. My reaction is positive but I don't have anything else intelligent to say. I'm commenting just so I can come back.

Thanks for teaching me about "surplus value." Good link.

edgar said...

Sometimes I'm concerned that perhaps even with all I know I have to give that I'm still not worthy of being the one to become the face of a struggle...

(inferiority complex I guess)

or maybe the thought that what I do is possibly the best I have to give...

as far as not donating to the fund...

chalk that one up to not having a job and being unable to find one or even get a call back for the past 4 months or so...

I've had this one conversation with my mom many times where I tell her that maybe due to the fact that there are so little of us that actually believe that change is possible we become social outcast's in a way...(lord knows (real)rebellion is a lonely road)

and when it comes to the possibility of joining up with others who believe in the same things we do and are prepared to act we may distance ourselves because of a lack of trust...or disbelief that these folk can actually do anything more than preach to the choir...

and then of course the problem arises of not having anybody there who can provide that extra push that is very often needed to actually act on something...(like Coretta to Martin)

M.Dot. said...

I've had this one conversation with my mom many times where I tell her that maybe due to the fact that there are so little of us that actually believe that change is possible we become social outcast's in a way...(lord knows (real)rebellion is a lonely road)
====
Dios Fucking Mio.

Edgar thank you for being honest.

If you are a reader dude, Read Grace Bogg's Living for Change.
She will talk about WHY we feel alone, how she over came it and how to form like Voltron with others.

In fact I think I am going to post some Baldwin/Grace just for some motivationals...we all can use it...

The other thing to keep in mind is that that there is a lot of money to made off of just talking about it and very little taking action.

Hella Nonprofits be talking bout raising awareness.
Fuck awareness. We want action towards a goal.

But man. Dude your honesty is incredible.

And real spit.

We ALL have a contribution to make.
But we are not apart of a society that teaches us that.
So. Thats why conferences and blogs posts and all these shits matter.

Your money. Not needed here ock.

Don't get me wrong, the donations are good.
They allow me of course to make MOVES and gauge you all's commitment to what WE are about to undertake.

Your time, commitment THAT ish is like Rice in the Fillipine's homie,
Precious.

M.Dot. said...

@ RP...

Yo...that surplus value ish is bugged out right?!?!!?!?!!

I am SURE you have something today...it is just a matter of coming to less scared of hearing (y)our own voice.

afrolicious said...

For me it's being wrong. My little hater says, "maybe you don't have all the facts; you don't know where he/she/it/they is/are coming from. you haven't read enough books; you're not educated enough"

I think that's mostly why I write rather than speak or show up, really. I can hide behind words and great theories of change because I don't want to make a mistake or for anyone to get hurt or...

M.Dot. said...

. I can hide behind words and great theories of change because I don't want to make a mistake or for anyone to get hurt or
======

Interesting.

Given the state of Where WE are today.

50% of our kids Drop/Push outs. 800K Negros in prison.
Fannie & Freddie get a Bail out but you and I GET NATHAN
on our school loans.

What's the worst thing that can happen?

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