[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Oftentimes (read: everyday), the news reminds us of the not-so-lovely things happening in the world. The news is tough to read, but it’s important to be aware of potential nuclear war, debates on healthcare, attacks on public lands, and every other political topic. Political decisions dramatically impact people’s lives, so, despite the negativity, these matters are extremely important.
Given the high stakes of many political topics, the magnitude of them make it easy to become discouraged, overwhelmed, or cynical. Sometimes, it feels like nothing can or will change. So why care anymore?
Well, if you’re like me and find yourself asking a similar question, it’s important to take a step back and honestly answer the question. Why do you care?
Everyone has different stories and reasons; I’d love to hear yours. Here are mine.
First, I care because I believe in America.
While I wouldn’t say that I’m a particularly patriotic person, I really do believe in America. Yes, there are many, many things I do not love about our country (hello, institutionalized racism), but I do believe America has a solid foundation to grant individual liberties and freedoms. I care about politics and engage in political discourse because I want to ensure America stays a land of the free (for everyone).
Second, I care because I cherish the earth.
To quote the ever-so-lovely Mike Noel, I am a rock-lickin’, bird- and bunny-loving, tree-hugging Utahn. I am happiest outside, hiking peaks, climbing rocks, or simply enjoying fresh air. I am also hyper aware that the environment is protected only to the extent of political and legal restrictions. Personally, I appreciate clean air, clean water, and pristine landscapes, so I’m going to engage in political discussions that affect the earth.
Finally, I care because I love people.
On a personal level, I know how politics impact individuals. As a woman, I care about women’s right. As a sister to a transgender brother, I care about LGBTQ issues. As a friend of immigrants and refugees, I care about immigration policy. Most importantly, as a human, I care about race issues, poverty, religious freedom, and every other topic that affects an individual’s ability to live a free and happy life (which, news flash, is pretty much everything).
I could go on with anecdotal stories and personal experiences, but it’s sufficient to say these three general reasons keep me going. Whenever the news starts to make me feel overwhelmed, frustrated or just plain cynical, I like to remember why I care. These reasons provide motivating fuel for me to keep pushing back, to keep having discussions, and to keep engaging in politics.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Why do you care? What keeps you politically engaged when everything starts to feel less-than-hopeful?
(Also, if you’d like a musical version of this post, watch below. Courtesy of Julie Andrews).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IagRZBvLtw”][/vc_column][/vc_row]