There is a crippling fear that has gripped the heart and soul of people.
Covid 19 is still raging, many are dying in hospitals because they listened to folks who populated myths of what was in the vaccine, glorified snake oil salesmen while they and their families were not only vaccinated, but receiving monoclonal antibodies when some of them got Covid in the early days.
The jobs report came out and again, this fear of not enough is pervading the land, mostly written about with the top 1% of the 1% in mind, afraid of their stock market returns, but not afraid enough to listen to the cries of the workers kept in the endless wheel of capitalism.
The stage hands walked off the jobs.
Restaurant workers said $2.13 per hour plus tips that may not come was not enough.
Cereal factory workers stopped.
So many stopped.
Stopped being afraid.
Took back pieces of their own power.
I woke up thinking about that on this October 11th day that is Indigenous Peoples' Day. A day when the mail is not running and many have this day "off" yet the wheels of capitalism are churning making it a "one day only sale" to get more people to and spend money on a cheaply made shirt that took them three hours of work to get. I have been thinking about this day and the power of reclaiming oneself.
This is also October, my least favorite month of the year.
I was looking back over decades of my life and it was on an October in a year ending in a 1 that something significant altered the trajectory of my life. Almost all of it wrapped around some terror of being or being harmed or being hungry.
So many are living in that right now and those who are able to do something about it, pretend to be afraid to have their hands tied.
Thinking about it is just one part.
Doing something about it is another.
I'm not sitting on millions to be able to buy everyone unhoused a home or even hire at a full and fair wage (far above $21/hour BTW), but I have a little bit of power and autonomy to do what I can do.
Why is it like this and trying to uncover and using the only tools we have in these United States - our voices, our circles of influence, our dollars, and our vote.
Do I really need a cheaply made blouse from some high conglomerate that does not pay the people who harvested the threads and made the thing? No, I don't need to respond to the pressures of the fashion industries to have the newest and latest. Our landfills don't need more discarded clothes and neither do those who have been intentionally marginalized need American cast-offs.
I can think about where I spend my disposable income and more importantly, use my voice and my vote.
My voice to talk about issues and my vote to choose employees-of-the-people who will do something about it.
Fear is entirely crippling and it is something those in power use a lot to scare everyone else. What if those people move into your neighborhood or town? What if real history were really taught in schools? what if people were paid fully and fairly? What if everyone just stopped and made the world pause, the way Covid did, and required that we take notice?
Taking back one's power is a daily thing.
Waking up to decide what you can do.
Just one thing different.
That's what I have been thinking about and doing over the past twenty years. Doing one thing, not always getting it right, but getting back up to try that one thing again. Realizing I have more personal power and that the grip of fear is just "false evidence appearing real." It is a smokescreen and like vapors, once it passes, it will whisper away so you can see clearly a path to what freedom in living can be like.