Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. I know because I aggressively bought my boyfriend a small box of chocolates to make him feel bad for never celebrating Valentine’s Day – it’s simply not his style (and I say aggressive rather than passive-aggressive because I was very clear about my intentions).
Anyway, neither fazed nor persuaded by my evil ways, Boyfriend took me to a sort of dance demonstration in the city, a flash-mob protest to speak out against violence, particularly against women and girls. He’s not much for dancing, and I’m not much for crowds, so we stood on the sidelines, watched the dancing, and listened intently to the speeches. Occasionally a word or phrase would ring so true that it hurt my heart and made me cry. Boyfriend held my hand, dried my tears, and ultimately showed me his most genuine love and support.
This experience obviously strengthened our bond, but moreover, it made me feel safer in my city. All those people dancing and speaking out, showing women like me that we are not alone – it was powerful, beautiful, and therapeutic.
Maybe this protest alone didn’t change the world, but it changed the world – in a small and significant way – for me, and assuredly, many others in attendance.
For a moment, for me, the public world felt a little less intimidating. Maybe a woman in an abusive marriage found the strength to seek help, or a teenage boy who suffered a sexual assault will be moved to tell someone and begin the healing process, and there are hundreds more scenarios I could list here. The possibilities are many and varied, they are the stuff of radical social progress.
So don’t be discouraged, my loves, if you look around and see the world falling apart. Focus on what you can do, and the many small actions will, eventually, with patience, add up to a revolution.
In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice.”