Saturday, July 2, 2011

Priorities and Limitations

I find myself at a point of decision, and it's hard to let go of some things that I feel must be left behind.  This is harder than dropping an addiction, for it isn't so much a vice as a virtue which might be diminished.  I'm talking about my involvement with various political organizations and movements.

I have always been a strong believer in right and wrong.  Ever since I was a kid, I had concrete beliefs and spoke up about them, though the older I've gotten the harder it has become for various reasons.  Now, I fear I may be stretching myself too thin, and I wonder how much I can really handle.

One problem is time, though I've always made sure to find the time to fight for what I believe in.  Everyone else who should stand up uses this as a convenient excuse as to why they can't get involved:  "I've got no time, sorry."  So, that's a bit demoralizing.  Isn't my time just as valuable and precious?  If so, why am I wasting it?  Other people feel their time is better spent on a night at home with the kids or taking in a movie.  I have rarely seen it that way, and believe it's important to take on the workload of fighting for what is right, yet that dovetails with my second point.  What is right?

I still have firm beliefs.  I know what is right, and what is wrong, though I have to wonder if doing the "right" thing is the right thing for me at this point.  I have to question what benefit I'm getting out of it, or if I may even be working against my own self interest.  Many of the things I stand up for hold no personal benefit for me, and are only done as a matter of principle, seeking to help others and shape society.  Spending so much time fighting for what is right, I've found myself neglecting the people who are truly important to me, especially my family.  Does that make it the right thing at all?

Another major issue is my introverted personality.  I'm generally shy and can't stand being around strangers.  Heck, there are even times I get uncomfortable talking to friends!  Perhaps I understand the human heart a little too well, or I just have an overactive imagination.  As Matthew Sweet once sang, "I don't like knowing people.  I don't like people knowing about me."  That's something of a stumbling block when it comes to my writing career, though I've been willing to step out of my comfort zone when it comes to that, and stick my face into public view when necessary.

Screaming politicians can be
hazardous to your health!

Putting yourself out there on the political scene is a million times worse, as there are enemies galore eager and willing to rip you apart, which is more than a little disturbing.  Unlike my father, I don't enjoy fighting with people.  It bothers me greatly to argue, and it wrecks my creative talents.  If I waste energy bickering, I can't write, and that is a dangerous thing.  It also makes me irritable, which isn't good for family life.

It's time to assess my limitations.  There is only so much emotional strain I can subject myself to, and now that my "side" seems to be scoring some points, it may be time for me to back off and let others take their turn on the intellectual battlefield.

I'm not a quitter, and there are people counting on me, so I won't drop out entirely. Though, there is only so much I can do.  I can't be a selfless warrior like the Founding Fathers were, sacrificing life and limb for a noble cause.  While I can't sit by and do nothing while everything I care about slips away, I'm not going to stick my neck out so readily anymore.  Most of my energy is going to be diverted to my burgeoning writing career, and the physical labor I must perform to make ends meet.  If something particularly important comes up, I'll still be here, but it's time to recharge and get ready for bigger and better things.

As a parting thought:  With rare exception, none of my so-called allies have given any support to my writing career.  Straw...camel's back, anyone?  I'm tired.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes we have to pick and choose our battles. There are only so many hours in the day and only one of us!