MARCHING FOR CHANGE–MY OWN
MARCHING FOR CHANGE—MY OWN
Elizabeth Willis Barrett………….July 2017
I have been changing through the years. In some ways, that’s not so good. I could do without the sagging, the puddling, and the petering out of my energy. But in other ways, change has been very necessary. It is time for me to quit marching down a straight and immovable line that doesn’t give much room to those who aren’t marching down that straight line with me. My focus has been so forward. My way unbending.
Now I am loosening up a bit. I am not so rigid. I am starting to see those around me with more understanding and compassion. We don’t all come from the same experiences. Our opinions and actions are formed by such a great variety of occurrences. We have different heartaches and joys, different physical, mental and emotional configurations.
I’m bringing this up because of the Women’s March on Washington. That doesn’t make much sense, you say? Well, maybe you’re right. Again.
On January 21st of this year there was a Women’s March on Washington. At least 450,000 people showed up in D.C. because of a snowballed invitation from just a few people. Eventually the whole world participated. According to Wikipedia (and they should know, right?) there were 673 planned marches worldwide involving 5 million people. I was not one of them. But maybe I should have been. My old self would never have said that. But this opinion is coming from my changed self. These people were marching for equality. They were marching for social change. I’ve got it pretty good and don’t feel a need for great change. But some do. And they were showing their support for change that matters to them in a very big way.
Some criticized the March from the safety of social media. Some even said words to the effect that these women should be home, as they were, taking care of their families.
I could quite easily have marched with those in Phoenix, but I have no activist blood in me and have left the job of reform to others. I am not a brave soul. Any trouble or confrontation or argument and I am definitely the first to close my mouth and retreat. If it were up to people like me, the 19th Amendment would never have been ratified. If you don’t know what that is, you’re in good company. I had to look it up. See! I have much to learn. I admit that. But I’m trying to pay a little more attention to what is going on around me. The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. Before August 18, 1920, women couldn’t vote. Unthinkable!
No matter what your political affiliation is, aren’t you grateful for the right to vote? All you have to do is watch a few I Love Lucy reruns to see how very far we’ve come! Someone had to fight for those rights. They weren’t just handed out in Christmas stockings. The men in charge didn’t say one day, “Oh, women don’t have the vote? What a terrific oversight! We ought to right that wrong immediately. Would someone please write up the Nineteenth Amendment so we can ratify it ASAP?!”
The reason that we women can vote today, is because so many women gave so much. They worked and suffered and sacrificed. I could take the time to look up some examples of women who gave their all for the right to vote but I don’t feel like it right now. I just have a need to thank them for what they did for me.
I’m glad I wasn’t around when all of the voting controversy was going on. I’m afraid I would have been one of those—actually, I KNOW I would have been one of those—who would have said: “Why, can’t those women just give it up? Who cares if we can vote? Women should just stay at home where they belong and let the men run this country.”
I honor those who are brave enough to struggle on the front lines for changes that they feel are needed as I cowardly take my stand in the back and let them go for it.
So thank you to those who are willing to march for necessary change while the rest of us rail against them in the protection of our well cared-for homes.
I don’t want to do the marching, but someone’s got to, don’t you think? If someone feels that there is an injustice, they have the right to stand up and say, “I don’t think this should go on. I protest.”
That right is a huge part of why we live in America.