On Tuesday, March 21, the second day of spring, I undertook a 21-day challenge, inspired by Eddie Moore’s 21-day challenge to create habits for myself (see post from 3/26). I enthusiastically created a social justice action log, giving space for the day/date; four columns for Read, Watch, Connect/Engage, and Act; and a space to note what I had done specifically.
On March 22, I supported my local librarian whistle-blowers by showing up at the library and holding a sign asking to recall the library trustees. And then on the 28th I spoke during the public comment portion of Berkeley’s City Council meeting. And I’m not saying that I influenced anyone, but the council did unseat two of the trustees soon after that…
At first, I was either able to check more than one box or do two or three actions each day. I bemoaned the lack of space I had to write down all that I had read, signed, watched, or accomplished. But after a week, I was usually just checking one box, and there was plenty of space to take notes.
On April 2 as I was in bed ready to go to sleep, I realized I hadn’t done anything, so I got out my cell, hit 50409 and typed in “Resist.” ResistBot sent eleven o’clock fax to Dianne Feinstein to implore her to join her colleagues in a filibuster against Neil Gorsuch becoming our next Supreme Court justice. It was so easy–ResistBot already had my info because it had already sent my senators faxes on my behalf asking them to do what they could keep Trump from axing Planned Parenthood, the NEA, and Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
And I have to say I felt genuinely proud of Dianne when she committed to filibuster along with many of her Democratic colleagues. I’m sure it was my urging that pushed her to do it.
But it didn’t work. Sigh.
I called TIAA-CREF to move my tiny bundle of retirement money to their Social Change option, but now I think I should do some more research on what they consider socially conscious investments.
Then I forgot to do anything on April 3.
But I tried to make up for it on April 4 by going to a special screening of Mirrors of Privilege at Redwood Day School, which was amazing, by the way.
On April 5, I kind of cheated. I was proofreading a Noam Chomsky book for work, so I counted that as my action for the day because of course I was reading it
On Sunday, April 9, I have a check in the Act box, but there isn’t a note by it. So I don’t know what I did, or if I actually did anything.
So Monday, April 10, should have been the last day of the 21 days, but I’d missed two days, so I kept going an extra two days to make up for it.
Today is April 12, and I have spent 21 out of the last 23 days reading articles, attending an Indivisible Berkeley meeting, watching documentaries, holding up a sign at a protest rally, speaking at a city council meeting, and signing lots of online petitions. I learned a lot.
Then I remembered that this was supposed to be a habit-building project, and I hadn’t done it for 21 continuous days. So the question is whether I start over or not. Did it count? I figure if I could forget, then it isn’t really a habit yet. And I admit that I relied heavily on the online petitions toward the end of the challenge. Which are too easy to feel like I’m really doing something, even when I share them on Facebook in an effort to spread the news.
So I’m going to keep going on my action log for the time being, and see how I feel about it after a full month. Maybe I just need to continue keeping a log indefinitely…