Monday, January 31, 2011
Momentum Is A Terrible Thing To Waste
" The Mice once called a meeting to decide on a plan to free themselves of their enemy, the Cat. At least they wished to find some way of knowing when she was coming, so they might have time to run away. Indeed, something had to be done, for they lived in such constant fear of her claws that they hardly dared stir from their dens by night or day. Many plans were discussed, but none of them was thought good enough. At last a very young Mouse got up and said: “I have a plan that seems very simple, but I know it will be successful. All we have to do is to hang a bell about the Cat’s neck. When we hear the bell ringing we will know immediately that our enemy is coming.”
All the Mice were much surprised that they had not thought of such a plan before. But in the midst of the rejoicing over their good fortune, an old Mouse arose and said:
“I will say that the plan of the young Mouse is very good. But let me ask one question: Who will bell the Cat?”
It is one thing to say that something should be done, but quite a different matter to do it."
Since the SMAAC position paper on Equal Access was published, there have been quite a few enthusiastic comments and no small amount of optimism. Not only is everyone excited by the idea that something might get done, it seems everyone has a different idea about how it should be done and then there are those who say it can't be done and we should be placing our focus elsewhere.
There are so many chiefs and so few warriors that it gets top-heavy in activism land. Then there are those that talk and say but don't follow through. I'm ashamed to admit that I've been one of those when it comes to taking my place at events and venues. The problem is that life intervenes. It's sort of like our plans to relocate for our retirement. The housing market bust has put the kibosh on that one for a while. We want to go here and we want to go there but can we afford the journey? Can we be sure that we or a family member doesn't fall ill?
It has been suggested that we take this fight to the streets and to the source. That is a really good suggestion but how many are willing to leave the comfort of the home, many of us in our Golden Years, to stand on hard pavement, holding signs and shouting slogans? How many of us are willing to put our names out there, to be recognized as an Exiled Mother of the EMS? How many of us are ready to spend long, boring hours in the heat or cold, sitting behind a table and giving out flyers? Money is an issue. How many are willing to donate for the cause?
I have had my share of those who would lead us who delegate, critique the efforts of all their troops and then are nowhere to be found when it's time for a reckoning. I have grown tired of those who are sure they know a better way but no practical methods to achieve their better ideas. I am weary of egos, of people wanting to be the "go-to experts" in this area and who are more concerned with their imagined "legacies" than with justice.
Most of all, I am tired of watching people getting all excited, only to watch that excitement wane, lose substance and swirl down the drain to another repeat of the sound of silence.
I do what I do. I am a writer who pulls from my passions and flow of consciousness. I am a good rabble rouser with the extra advantage of having truth as a subject matter. I can provide a warm body and a fairly eloquent and fervent speech or two. I am willing to put those talents and attributes into this fight. I will be in San Antonio in August (barring death or disease*. I am one mouse who is ready to face the cat.
The question is, who is going to help us bell the cat? Gosh, it just got awfully quiet in here.