It has been incredible difficult for me to write as of late. I read through countless news stories which have blended together in a devilish mix of gun control, fiscal cliff and overall gridlock of common sense. Writer’s block won’t even describe it. I see and hear it everywhere I go. Not to be cliché, but I keep hearing this song “Some Nights” on the radio and it makes me wonder. For those of you whose iPod hookup has not broken, you’re aware that the song lyrics say “What do I stand for? What do I stand for? Most night, I don’t know anymore…”
There should be a limit to how many existential crisis you’re allowed a day. This song… it seeped into my unconscious and made me face the fact that I rarely know the things I stand for anymore. Social justice, or any justice is not something I take lightly, and it is easy when reading and writing to determine the things I agree with and what I stand against. But I find it much easier to list that which I have lost the fight for these past few years than be able to list what I still stand for now.
‘We must accept the responsibility of change’ is a belief that I hold very dear, and it may very well be why the past few weeks have been so disheartening for me. I see a nation filled with good people; people who see freedom, justice and even kindness as a staple of their very existence. But they are the quiet ones. Those you hear are the ones shouting hate, ignorance and fear. Those decent people are overshadowed, drowned out by the ever darkening skies and I am tired, so very tired of not seeing the sun.
Last weekend I talked over some of my frustrations with a good friend of mine. I sat complaining about an argument involving slavery, and that a comment was made that determining that slavery is wrong is imposing our ideals onto another culture just as much as we believe imposing slavery on others is wrong. It is the imperialism of morality if you wish. Ever the devil’s advocate, not to mention infuriatingly logical, my friend replied “well it is a valid argument.” Of course it was, validity implies a well-rounded, justifiable and logically sound argument. Denouncing slavery as wrong is, of course a personal view, as I’m sure we can find someone who believes that it isn’t. Therefore, it is, a valid argument. Validity is not the whole story though and as much as I respect and admire my friend, it is one of the few ways in which we never agree. Morality is subjective. Yes. Fairness, however, should not be. It is giving each person, regardless of any circumstance, fair treatment, a fair shot.
I’d like to think that regardless of mood and overwhelming odds against me that it can be said that I stand for fairness. No matter how tired I am, how disgusted with what is around me it is my hope that I can still maintain a sliver of who I think I am. Can any of us truly answer when we ask ourselves, “Who am I?”
Courtney Kidd, LMSW
SJS Staff Writer