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"Not My Problem, Part 1" - Monday Moment - May 15, 2023

Happy Monday, friends! Because of the work I do and because my interests are follow a fairly activist bent, I get a ton of emails asking me to sign petitions, attend demonstrations, contribute to, write a letter for, or take some sort of action for a particular cause. Approximately, 60% of time I think, “Yes, I need to do something about that!” or “That’s a great prospective, how can I add it to what I’m/we’re already doing?” Maybe 35% of the time I think, “that’s a great cause and I’m glad someone’s working on it, but I/we don’t have the capacity to get involved.” Finally, about 5% of the time I think, “who the hell cares about that and why is someone dedicating energy to that when we have <insert a litany of attacks against Queer people, BIPOC people, women, the general threat of gun violence, hunger, poverty, and homelessness>?” A few days ago, I received an email from Change.org alerting me to a petition about cats being declawed.


On that particular day I was tired, stressed, trying to get caught up on work, and had hopelessness buzzing around my head. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the petition and thought, “that’s got to be a joke?” I read the message, complete with a photo of a sad-looking cat and the words, “Declawing is amputation, whether performed by scalpel, clippers, or laser.” I won’t repeat the string of obscenities I shouted at my computer screen, but I had a visceral reaction. Regaining my composure and admitting that my reaction was more extra than I meant it to be, I was drawn into reflecting on that reaction.


Yes, as a Queer person who believes that his faith moves him to socially just action, I believe that there are bigger issues with greater repercussions than declawing cats. However, for someone else, that is their major policy issue right now. I know for a fact that there are many people who can’t understand why I support the issues I do or why I approach those issues from a certain perspective. As humans we are almost hardwired to involve ourselves in the work, lives, and drama of other humans. So, we tell ourselves that it’s not our problem and we do our best to rest assured that it really isn’t our problem. We push the matter aside and move on with our business. This is a healthy approach, right? Let’s attend to ourselves and leave other people alone. It’s not our problem.


When have you involved yourself in someone else’s business? In someone else’s drama?


Let us pray: God, support each one of us in our business. Help us resist the temptation to involve ourselves where we need not be. Keep us out of needless drama. Help us see where our perspectives are welcome and those times that others should speak. Remind us that there is much work in bending the arc towards justice and we cannot do everything. We ask this because alone we struggle to know that every problem is not our problem. Amen.


Blessings on your week, my friends! Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.


Faithfully,


Ben

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