I am currently involved with this quote and I’m trying to think about how Zara (the main character in my NEED series) would react to it.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” – Teddy Roosevelt, former U.S. President.
While I have very mixed feelings about Mr. Roosevelt, I am obsessed with this quote and it obviously can apply to any venture, writing, acting, working, relationships.
And it applies to our own lives, the ones we live every singe day.
And then I think about all the people in parts of the world, about all the people in my own country, the people who are often unseen, and the ones who are invisible, and how for some the act of living, the act of surviving, is the biggest arena and triumph of all.
But maybe our biggest triumph of all? It would be to help them, to see them, to know what’s happening.
When I was a kid learning about the Holocaust, the scenes and stories that always broke my soul where the ones where kids were wrenched apart from their parents, their mothers, the fathers. The ache of that? The sudden shock of that? It was too much for my heart to handle just reading it. How does a heart handle it in real life.
And this is happening now in other places in the world.
And this is happening now in the U.S. with kids whose parents have immigrated here illegally.
Both those links are about children being abused by U.S. Border Agents. Here is one about the almost 1,500 missing children, lost by our government.
Yes, you can argue that in the United States when you break a law you don’t get to live with your kids anymore, that everyone in prison is separated from their family and children.
And I would argue that those children weren’t usually sent to strangers. And I would argue that those children don’t usually go missing because the individual states handle their cases.
And you might say ‘the law is the law.” And I would say that Hitler said that, too. The law is the law. But sometimes? Laws are unjust. And sometimes? Laws need to be changed. And sometimes we need to remember what it is to be human, to have hearts, and to care.
We are not perfect people, but we can’t afford to just criticize policy and behavior. We have to act valiantly, to promote our beliefs, and our ideals, and our morals. Doing good, caring, that is valiant.
DO GOOD WEDNESDAY ON A SATURDAY.
I was originally going to publish this on Wednesday, but I decided it can’t wait. I’ll repost it then, too.
This website talks about state-level advocacy on immigration issues. You can get in touch with your state organizations and find out what you can do to help create the country you want.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO
1. Call your elected representatives.
2. Learn more about the actual law at the Informed Immigrant website
3. Support ActBlue Charities initiative to Support Kids at the Border or Support The Young Center for Immigrant and Children’s Rights, United We Dream, KIND: Kids in Need of Defense, Lutheran Immigration Services