We the people Jersey barrier

Image by katxn via Flickr

When I don’t write on this blog, it’s usually because I feel like I have nothing important to say.

Every topic I can think to write about has been written about by other people who are smarter, more clever, funnier or better-informed than I am.

The only topics I am an expert on are my profession (which I try to more-or-less keep out of this blog) and myself.  And when the world is going to hell, as it so clearly is these days, writing about myself and my own concerns seems small-minded and pointless.

Which is why this Echidne post came across my radar at the right time:

It’s not necessary to choose between selfishness and kindness or between being a marauding monster or a doormat. Hillel said it well a very long time ago:

If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?

It is that balance I aim for. It is also that balance I believe we should all aim for. Only introspection will tell you what your own corrections should be. But I see more women bending over backwards to care for others and not for themselves, despite the fact that one cannot keep giving without replenishing that what is to be given. I also see both men and women assume that it is women who should bend over backwards.

So how does one become a fighter under these circumstances? Remember what Hillel said, remember that when you fight for, say, feminism you are not fighting just for yourself or for the uppity rich white women of the United States but for all our daughters, all the young girls you read about in Afghanistan, all the young girls you read about in South Africa, all the women of the world. You are fighting to stop an injustice, an unfairness, and that cannot but make the world a little bit more bearable. To be able to do this you must also take care of yourself because you are both the fighter and the weapon.

(You should read the whole thing — she’s making a larger point about the need to fight for your cause). I sometimes forget that I matter. It’s good to be reminded.

Posted on November 17th, 2010 by Katxena