What is the Point?
Recently someone asked me if I think I'll change someone's mind with my actions. My answer? That isn't really the point.
- If there is a .000000001% chance that my actions will make a difference, that is worth it to me.
- If my choices are to voice my opinion or not, with the end result being the same, I want to know that I tried.
- I can't think of an instance when doing nothing yielded a desired result.
To be honest (and use a tired internet trope unironically for once): what is real is the struggle. We'll never know what might've happened if Martin Luther King, Jr. had decided that he couldn't change anyone's mind so he might as well not try. Perhaps someone else would've filled his role and we'd be right where we are now.
I think we do know what might've happened if Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks and Maya Angelou and Ta-Nehisi Coates and every other participant in the ongoing civil rights movement had decided they might as well not try. There would be no long arc of history bending toward justice. There would be no dream.
True, dreams are not real, but they are still worth struggling toward. Will we ever cultivate a society that judges children by the content of their characters? If not, should we stop trying?
I've never thought that long arc of history bends on its own. We bend it.