As I don my pantsuit and prepare for the march on Seattle, I can't help but think about the importance of expecting perceived futility in what I do today. What I mean is, I've heard questions like "what will it accomplish?" and "what good will it do?" and the answer is nothing and none, almost. Tonight we will go to sleep and wake up tomorrow to the same problems, the same complaints, the same world. Almost. With time, the things that we do today will vanish completely from the headlines and public consciousness. Almost. Today isn't about achieving a big, instant change. Seen in that way, with that expectation, today will feel like a failure, and I will become discouraged, and the next time a call comes I'll be the one asking "what's the point?"
Because judged by its measurable outcomes, today will change nothing. It won't change our president or our treatment of women or our marginalizing of everyone who doesn't look and act and believe just like us, but it WILL have happened. We WILL remember, even when we don't realize we're remembering, that on this day over 2 million people stood up and said "I dissent" in the face of a platform built on hate. And that matters. But not enough.
Today is not a solution but a beginning. It is a commitment that all marchers make to our government; a headcount of who and how many they can expect to see again if they threaten the rights of the people. It's a statement to those for whom we march that they are not alone, and a vow to be there when they need us. It's not a battle we set out to win, but an inventory of the those who will fight.
But it only works if we mean it, and if we follow through with today's commitment. I for one have taken too long to do more against injustices because they didn't affect me personally. If I mean my commitment that I make today - if WE mean it - then tomorrow will in fact be very different, even if it appears the same. But if we don't - if this is the only call we intend to answer - then what we do today is truly an act of futility.
Happy marching, all, and I look forward to seeing you again if need be.