This Much I Know — Six Word Fridays

by Belinda Munoz on August 13, 2010

mind

Last night, I attended a reception to meet several congressional candidates from around the country.  It didn’t matter whether they’re from Arizona, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, Washington or California.  The problems that voters bring to their attention are the same: unemployment, worker’s rights, single parent woes, health care, elder abuse, etc.  At the heart of these real and urgent problems are big and clunky questions about how a developed nation takes care of its citizens.

Each of the candidates present was given a couple of minutes to speak.  And speak they did.  From the heart.  They told of their personal stories about grandparents coming from a Communist country, parents who lacked education or memories of childhood struggles with learning disabilities.  Each of them showed, in a compelling way, an eagerness to serve and a sincere connection to the problems they face in their respective districts.

As someone who works in politics, I’m painfully aware that, to many, it’s not a sexy topic (no silky lingerie here).  Some may even say it’s a total turn-off (as in muddy boots on open wounds).  The highest voter turnout in U.S. history took place in the 2008 presidential election with 61.7% of eligible voters making their voice count.  Two years before that, a whopping 41.3% of voters went to the polls.  If these were grades on a report card, they would be considered a big fat F.

And so we encounter the same issues year in and year out.  The ones that go neglected for too long become worse.  Are there improvements?  At best, it’s debatable.  Is this the best we can do?  Who knows.

Some of you may be wondering how I’m “choosing positivity” by pointing this out.  It’s not that I’m looking for problems.  I’m really not.  It’s just that from where I sit, it’s both exciting and frustrating to be able to envision simple solutions and yet feel incredibly powerless to make them happen.  I contend with this daily, despite knowing I am only one of millions, despite knowing there’s much about idealism that sucks, despite knowing that a choice for one is a pipe dream for another.

But, what do I know, right?

There is much I don’t know
Does this stop me? Oh, no
Yet again, there I boldly go
Dreams in tow, others say “uh-oh”

I go lookin’ for somethin’ missin’
woulda coulda found it, alas, didn’t
Every so often I lack vision
Maybe I oughta just go fishin’

I make mistakes, but I rectify
Miss the bulls-eye, so I modify
I’m complex, but I can simplify
I ain’t superior, but I qualify
Mission impossible? Still, why not try?

sixwords_brown

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GUESS WHAT? Someone very talented and very close to me did an audio “micro-jam” version of Temptation, last week’s Six Word Friday topic.  If you’d like to check it out, click here.

If you’d like to see what Six Word Fridays is all about, click here.

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  1. Do you appreciate incremental changes?
  2. Do you prefer big results?  Or do you derive satisfaction from teeny tiny results?
  3. What do you think about doing work that doesn’t appear to bring quantifiable results?
  4. Does anything about politics turn you on?

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Image by Dawn Ashley

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August 13, 2010 at 11:39 am

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 TheKitchenWitch August 13, 2010 at 5:02 am

Trying’s the thing, done with heart.

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2 Rudri September 7, 2010 at 4:27 pm

I second KW. Trying with heart is what we need.

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3 Christine LaRocque August 13, 2010 at 5:41 am

Why not try? I completely agree!

My degree is in political science, and like you I see the opportunity, the challenge. It may not be sexy, but it’s stimulating, important and so worth the effort!

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4 Aging Mommy August 13, 2010 at 7:05 am

If I were to lobby for anything it would be for a national implementation of postpartum support for new Moms. I think in this modern world where so many new Moms are without close family and a support network this would be such a great help and might just prevent or lessen PPD and other things from happening. But in general, politics really is not my thing.

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5 Kate August 13, 2010 at 7:40 am

I think it depends on the work, sometimes the results are irrelevant if you have put your all into something, enjoyed it and learnt something.
WRT politics, don’t get me started!! The poiticians here are all the same (again I am usually very positive but I give up on this!) they start with the best intentions and get swayed by the sytstem so they are planning for votes rather than following their beliefs.

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6 Melissa August 13, 2010 at 11:15 am

There are so many impossible missions.
If we all just pick one…
Think how much we could accomplish!
(Impossible? Really, might as well try.)

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7 Katie August 13, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Love your style Belinda. I feel like you’re talking right to me, from your heart, every time you write. You poetry reminds me of song lyrics (funny that your friend made your last one into a jam). I think you’ve got to keep envisioning, keep trying, keep asking questions — even if you feel powerless. It sounds like it’s in your nature to keep trying anyway so likely you have no choice. If none of us tried, we’d make no changes. Small ones mean something.

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8 Mel Gallant August 13, 2010 at 5:20 pm

i appreciate incremental change for what it is…change. politics doesn’t turn me on (i think most Americans and Canadians feel the same way) but i am passionate about my right to vote. i think it’s important to say i had a voice in how my country, city, municipality is governed. if i don’t vote…i can’t really bitch about it can i? i hope to convey that same sense of responsibility to my daughter.

so on second thought, maybe politics does turn me on…in a way.

at the same time, i tire of the political posturing that gets in the way of progress when there is so much that needs to be done.

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9 Tessa August 14, 2010 at 7:11 am

I love when I make new connections via the blog world. I love this post and often feel so much the same (also felt kindred reading your “about me” section). Why not try? I whole heartedly agree. We are small in this big world, but what else can we do but try to change what we are passionate about? If we can positively influence one person, it’s good right?
blessings to you on your journey and THANK you SO much for your kind words on my blog. Since my blog is so tiny and I have very few visitors with even fewer commenters, my ego sometimes butts in and tells me it must mean my writing sucks, so to see your compliment on my writing really means a lot to me. Thanks for taking the time.

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10 Kate August 14, 2010 at 8:02 am

I adore this. Can’t read it enough. I often get caught in thinking and fail to act, especially on the big things. It’s better to try, better to move forward even if you have to rectify.

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11 BigLittleWolf August 14, 2010 at 10:14 am

Some of us are firm believers in incremental changes. They are easier for people to process, and they allow us the time to reflect on more manageable “units” of change, as well as to undertake them.

Oh, what a mouthful of truth you said here:

A choice for one is a pipe dream for another.

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12 Wilma Ham August 15, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Change begins always with myself. Until the governing of a country can be done in collaboration with the people it governs, we will never have a great governing system. People need to help people, I need to help my neighbor with a young baby, I can give hungry people shelter and food, no government ruling or system can ever really do that for us or sort out our inhumane behavior towards one and other. It all starts with me and then the politicians can stick to a job they can do, whatever that is when we all learn to govern ourselves and our immediate neighbors. I think it is that simple and yet so complicated. Politicians in this climate have no chance at all to bring about changes that make the world a better place, it is NOT their job, it is mine. xox Wilma

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13 Tony Single August 16, 2010 at 4:33 am

Wilma touched on it. Change can only ever begin with me. I can’t wait for governments or legislation to effect a difference that will only ever be effective if I make the decision and own it by acting on it. In that regard, politics can only ever achieve so much.

Well, it sounds good when I say it anyway. 😛

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14 Wilma Ham August 16, 2010 at 7:38 pm

I agree Tony, you and what you say sound wonderful.

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