If changing the world is your fight, it will exhaust you.
But if it’s just your way of being, it will be effortless!
So promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.
This is going to be my New Year’s resolution #1. Stop going off on things. Because I do, as anyone who knows me even slightly knows well.
I’m going to remember what Robert Frost said: Poetry is about the grief. Politics is about the grievance. And be more a poet than a politico. Politics is important, certainly. Law can protect people from the actions of mean-hearted people. But it doesn’t often change the attitudes of those people. It doesn’t change hearts.
That’s what poetry is for. Dealing with the grieving fallout of racism directed at a child (those chilling pictures of Ruby Bridges running the gauntlet of hate), the battered psyche of a young boy beaten by homophobic bullies, the terror in the eyes of a girl who will never ‘date’ without thinking of its silent partner, ‘rape.’
If a book can galvanise a country to illegalise slavery, then perhaps a poem (or an essay or a story or another piece of art) can change a heart. Without the acrid aftermath of anger.
I think it’s at least a good place to begin, this New Year’s Day. What about you? What do you resolve to do this year?