NaBloPoMo: Ben Franklin

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Benjamin Franklin said, “Energy and persistence conquer all things.” Do you agree or disagree?

Second to last day in my month long journey. NaBloPoMo is up for February (love and sex) but I am going to take a break in part due to having some other tasks that need my attention and because I *hope* to be pursuing some sort of treatment for carpal tunnel.

I do not agree with BF. We live in a world where systemic forces have an impact on our lives. Exerting energy and being persistent in the face of adversity can be productive even if not successful – we can feel good about trying, we can inspire others to pick up the battle flag, etc. But we can also feed into a mentality that “you can climb the ladder of success” so if you don’t, you are a failure.

The Boy Scout situation is an excellent example. Energy and persistence of the part of advocates have created a path to change that was unfathomable five years ago. But the complexity of life shows that “conquering” is not viable right now. Transphobia is rampant so there’s no victory unless children who are not gay, but not heterosexual are also included and valued. The same with adults. And somewhere yesterday a gay kid was bullied, kicked out of his home, etc.

At the same time, a group of parents and Scouts got a national organization to change its policy (potentially) even when the Surpeme Court backed them up. Seriously, that is impressive energy.

It is just not “all things” and while we should take a moment to let the successes replenish our energy, we cannot rest while all things remain undone.

Did I just contradict myself?