On the personal front I'm in the middle of a crazy week that is about to get crazier. I leave tomorrow mid-day for Atlanta and the CNN Dialogues event. I'm looking forward to it. Wouldn't you know I've got, like, an infected eyelash so one of my eyelids is looking kind of angry right now but such is life. I just hope it doesn't get swollen closed overnight
After that's done I go to Texas to wrestle. I had a wonderful 6-mile run yesterday after work and weighed myself this morning to see how far I've still got to go. I was less than 5 lbs from target, which is actually pretty remarkable given all the Holiday "temptations" everywhere. I'll be glad when weigh-in is done on Friday so I can start eating again.
My son called to say that he had been in a car accident. He's fine, but it was a pretty significant collision. Now he begins the beaurocracy of "insurance". That's something.
In the "activism" world I wanted to highlight a story that appeared on the Time website yesterday. It's titled "Transgender People: The next frontier in civil rights" (read it here). One particularly powerful snippet:
Transgender people have long been on the margins of society. That has even been true in the LGBT — or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender — community, where debates have raged over how hard and how fast to push for transgender rights, which remain controversial. But that is true of any group that is still in the early stages of its civil rights struggle. If two of the nation’s most powerful institutions, federal courts and major corporations, are increasingly lining up behind transgender people, then change is undoubtedly on the way.Yes. We have come a long, long way. And yes - we are still in the early stages of our struggle. But change doesn't happen by itself. It takes time. It takes persistence. It involves risk. It takes dedication. It takes people willing to stand up at some point and say that things long accepted or long tolerated are now unacceptable or no longer tolerated. It takes building relationships and having friends/allies willing to stand with you.
I didn't transition to change the world. I transitioned to change MY world. But the fact that simply making it through the day in an intolerant world can be a nightmare no matter what you do is something I've had to confront in my own life. And, in the process, I've come to recognize that in order for things to truly get better things need to change.
You don't always get to choose what happens to you, or your circumstance. But I'm comfortable with the fact that you can choose how to deal with it. Either accept things as they are, or don't. And, I don't. The choice I made years ago was to dedicate myself to being part of that change in hopes that the world I leave will be a better one than the world I inherited. That dedication has not wavered, and it continues today. I really don't care whether others like it or not, agree with it or not, or even whether they can understand it or not. None of that is important.
The fact of the matter is that our world IS changing and many, many, many collective efforts are making that happen. And I'll play my own little part in the ongoing struggle of marginalized communities to overcome barriers of intolerange, ignorance, and inequality. By going to Atlanta to be involved in worthwhile broader discussions like CNN Dialogues. By participating in national sporting events. And by embracing and living my own version of MY life.
As I head off to the challenges/opportunities that await later this week and beyond, I'll share that I am continually empowered by a Theodore Roosevelt quote:
“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.”