Above All, Try Something (Hamlet Dies at the End, Right?)
"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something."
— Franklin D. Roosevelt
Yes. Life is complex.
Filled with relationship issues and emotional baggage, political and power dynamics of paternalism and feminism and racism, trying to navigate those waters can become daunting. Intersectionality and its very concepts prevent the simplicity we crave because it dictates that everything and everyone in the dominant paradigm is connected by oppression and discrimination even if he or she has had no hand in oppressing or discriminating.
Sex is now a shackle of constant checking in for consent and trying to figure out who to ask out on a date is so complicated it might be better to simply not date at all. Buying groceries is so convoluted that you can't decide if gluten-free is vegan or not (what the fuck is gluten, anyway?) and which chemicals are OK for us and which ones will inevitably be cancer causing in five years? Do I recycle and does it actually make any difference or does it just make me feel like I'm doing my part when it actually burns more energy to recycle than to just throw it away?
I believe that while the planet and the humanity that populates it is increasingly complicated, we are almost always faced with two choices:
- Do the thing.
- Don't do the thing.
An awful lot of the time we choose the latter because we fear the consequences of the former.
If I do the thing, will the consequences be irreversible? If not, do the fucking thing and see what happens. If the worst result of doing the thing is that you will be wrong, do it anyway. Being wrong is not the end of the world or even the end of the thing.
Body cameras on cops or not.
Exercising or not.
Take that less than stellar job opportunity or not.
Equal pay for women or not.
Make a movie or not.
Volunteer for a charity or not.
Get engaged on the third date or not.
Opening up the road to equity for transgender people or not.
Voting or not.
Telling a story at an open mic or not.
Do. The. Thing. If there is a possibility of a positive outcome, what on Earth do you have to lose? If it comes from a basic sense of kindness (to yourself, to others), then why the fuck not try it and see?