I have always abhorred politics - wherever it appears in my life. I have never ever wished to involve myself in state or national politics and often feel a grand sense of apathy in election years. I have been heard to say many times that I don't believe I have a voice - at least in national and possibly statewide politics (read: elections) and I never really gave any thought to being involved in lawmaking, which is certainly another level of political hell.
Last year, a particular bill came up in our state legislative system that just offended me to no end in its practical application - it was related to my employment and it was just so stupid that I volunteered to be on a small response committee from a professional group of which I am a member. The bill didn't really go anywhere last session, so I never had to attend any meetings with legislators or any hearings. But then this year, another bill came up that also was just wrong and it was again very apparent that the folks writing this crap knew nothing about my job and what they would be doing to the system in which I work. And I was even more irritated that none of my professional colleagues seemed to take up the torch. And so I did. I wrote my first letter to a political representative, lobbied to other professionals in our community and in other related areas, and was prepared to attend a hearing and testify if needed. To my great relief, the bill writers announced they were removing the bill language from consideration before the hearing, so I didn't need to do any of that. But what a freakish experience - to realize that this professional persona of mine is the kind of person who can speak to things, who can point out the "wrong-ness" of a proposal, and who can talk with authority on certain subjects. And even more of an out of body experience was to realize that I would be willing to do so! And that other professionals in my arena might look at me as someone who can participate in such a role. Where is my apathy?
Don't get me wrong - I am not drawn to the political world in any way. I am disgusted by it in so many ways. But it seems I have discovered the potential of having a voice - albeit a small voice in a particular niche. I must have read Dr. Seuss' The Lorax to my kids a thousand times and we just saw the movie remake recently and the closing line in the book has always made me pause: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing's going to get better. It's not."