We started our day by watching the "I have a dream" speech on CNN. Examining their blank stares, I arrived at the conclusion that kids these days(I can't believe I just wrote 'kids these days') cannot actually register television in 'black and white'. I don't think they heard a word.
Next, we went downtown and participated in the annual Unity March and Community Program. It was crowded and we couldn't find a place to park. We missed the march, but made it in time to hear excerpts from Dr. King's speech read by a charismatic local pastor named Happy. A microphone was passed around to members of the group who wanted to share what this day meant to them. It was inspiring. I believe the kids were inspired. It was live and in color, so I am satisfied that they actually digested some of it this time.
A wide variety of nonprofit agencies set up display booths/tables at the downtown mall to provide information about community resources and volunteer opportunities. After being moved by the speeches, we strolled by the booths, hoping to find our calling in community/global participation.
Many stories and myths have been circulated about the irrational and ridiculous fear that some people have of clowns. I am somehow similarly paralyzed by booths...any kind of booths....booths at art fairs, food booths, carnival booths, phone booths...SIDE NOTE:booth is a really weird word. I have rummaged through buried childhood experiences trying to resuscitate a particular childhood trauma that may have resulted in this aversion.
When I was 8 years old, I was hit by a car on my bike. Luckily, I only suffered torn pants and buttockal road burn. The driver of the car made sure I was still alive and drove away. I was too afraid to tell my mother what had happened and slipped in the house and hid my disfigured jeans. Okay, so maybe this experience has absolutely no correlation to the plague of the booths except to confirm that I have some whacked out fears. Attempting to get close to these booths is like walking against a river current....or like trying to get similar poles on a magnet together....I am instantly repelled. My heart starts pumping audibly, my hands get cold and clammy, and my tongue enlarges.
How can I expect my children to understand self-empowerment if I allow myself to be disempowered by my fears? How can I change the world if I can't overcome a ludicrous insecurity? Robotically, I took a gulp of "unboothinated" air, held my breath, and stomped to the booths, snatching up flyers and newsletters. I actually spoke to one of the booth attendants and signed a petition for making the city more bicycle friendly. I made progress today.
During lunch, we discussed things that we would like to change in the world. Savanna mentioned animal rights and hunger. Emmy wants to help with pollution. It was a good day.
The sun actually made an appearance in Spokane yesterday for the first time in a while. I hope that the ability to affect change isn't in direct correlation with amount of sunlight exposure during the winter months. If so, we are doomed to failure.