Love is the the most radically subversive activism of all, the only thing that ever changed anyone.
Both of these quotes speak to me. So, let me tell you a story. And then how they relate to each other.
I fell in love with a 4 year old autistic boy, a long time ago. I realized early on that stability and as much certainty as possible were important to him. I arranged to care for him (I was working in a hospital at the time) whenever I was working (stability). I don’t know what happened the two days I didn’t work; I just knew that he needed to “catch up” to where he had been before I didn’t work (as much certainty as possible). Slowly, oh, ever so slowly, he recovered from his illness and he “settled down”. I like to think he trusted me; trusted me to be there; be there for him. And I was (even though I looked after other people). Then one day he wasn’t there anymore.
I was bereft. I mourned the loss of that delicate child. I could only hope that he “made it”. I do not know.
Fast forward many years. I was recently out of graduate school. It was spring. And spring had arrived in a burst of color and fragrance. Of course I took advantage of this opportunity and paused; I had an epiphany. I clearly saw three items: do good work; be a good friend; grow spiritually/personally. I realized that the work I was doing filled a large part of my life (although I strived for a balance). I was satisfied. I was in love. Again. And even though it wasn’t with emotionally disturbed children, I was making a difference.
I had found my passion. I didn’t settle. I found it what mattered to me.
I certainly can do it with evaluation. And do. Does that program have value? Did it make a difference in the lives of the target audience? I look around at the world, the country, and wonder how can I make a difference; how can I be an activist (subversive or not); how will that change any thing? Yes, I believe love trumps hate. Yes, I believe in making a difference. Yes, I believe in doing good work (or as Steve Jobs said–great work).
Does that mean I need to work at this more OR does it mean I need to give myself permission to walk away from the struggle. To pause. To enjoy the roses now that they are in bloom?