So unless you are currently vacationing in Outer Mongolia, you probably have heard about Cindy Sheehan. I admire what she is doing on many levels. I am certainly not one to second-guess the grief of a mother who has lost her child. If what she is doing helps her to cope with that, I am all for it. I also happen to agree with many of her points.
But I think the biggest reason I admire her is that she thought that she could make a difference, and she set out to do it.
There are so many horrible tragedies going on in the world, it is hard to make even a partial list. War in so many countries, not just Iraq. Poverty, AIDS, starvation, female circumcision, stonings, religious oppression, elder abuse, the list goes on and on.
I can only say for myself that it leads to overload. I see so many things that need fixing, that I say to myself, where to start? Among the hundreds of causes, which one is most worthy? Can I as one person make any kind of real dent into the problem? For every orphan I was to send money to, there are thousands more in need. For every meal delivered to a homebound elderly, thousands more go hungry. As a result, I tend to try to act locally, doing the small things I can to help people in a more intimate way. For the larger issues, I have a sense of being completely powerless.
Many people bitch and complain about the state of affairs from everything to taxes to the death penalty. But is is not very often that people get their heinies off the couch and actually go out and try to effect change. It is ever so much easier to rail at the evening news, or even to blog about it. Even if I don't agree with a certain cause, I admire the people who have enough conviction to try to change what they feel is a wrong.
Cindy Sheehan has that conviction, she took action to empower herself. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree, no one can take that away from her.