Financially, environmentally even morally, sometimes it feels
like we, the collective citizens of planet earth are in an
abyss. But as Nietzsche said, 'when you stare into an abyss,
an abyss stares back at you'. What he meant was if we fixate on
something for too long then sure enough it will consume us.
And this would perhaps explain my constant state of anxiety. I'm
worried about the economy, I'm worried about my health, I'm worried
about my carbon footprint and why? Because I read the papers and I
watch the TV and all I take from it is 'YOU'RE FUCKED. PANIC'. And
what happens when I hear scary things? I become scared. Then I
repeat scary things, because what's a problem shared? Well actually
But perhaps my unease isn't simply a sense of impending doom.
Could it be that the feelings of discomfort I experience when I
think about the economy or global warming or oppressive regimes are
actually guilt? Not because I'm to blame for these things but
because they're problems which need to be sorted out and currently
I'm not doing any of the fixing.
It's easy to think that as individuals anything we do would have
very little impact but as the anthropologist Margaret Mead said
'never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens
can change the world. Indeed it's the only thing that has'. As
queer women we should appreciate this as much as anyone. We enjoy
certain rights and freedoms that had it not been for the sacrifices
and activism of others we wouldn't have. So perhaps it's time to
make sure we're giving a bit back.
Of course we can't adopt every good cause as our own, but far
better to do something than nothing. If you need some
inspiration check out the 'Queer Resistance - UK queers and allies
against the cuts' who are joining 'UK Uncut' for a 'Block the
Bridge' protest at Westminster Bridge on 9 October to protest
against the proposed cuts to the NHS https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=268704799819773.
Of course it's natural to feel a bit scared and helpless when
things seem bleak but simply panicking is unlikely to change the
world. Rather than convincing ourselves the end is nigh we should
channel that concern into something more productive. So come along
on Sunday; meet some queers who care, block the bridge and who
knows, maybe some feelings of guilt along with it.