Every Wednesday, I’ll (try) to post up a Simple Living Tip, with an emphasis on tips that can be done while living a more traditional 9-to-5 life.
My husband likes to keep up with the news from the mundane to political. I, on the other hand, don’t read too much news or keep up with politics. Except for a brief time during college and occasional donations to favorite issues, I pretty much stay out of the fray. My “activist” energies have been re-routed to fighting health insurers and hospitals/doctor offices.
The sad thing is that fighting injustices and keeping politically informed is NOT simple. Politics is messy and it takes a long time to make any changes, if you’re successful. I’m amazed by people who devote time and energy on political campaigns or other politically-related issues, especially if they work at other jobs and/or have families to consider.
This isn’t a tip-oriented post exactly. I just wonder if it’s possible to keep things simple without retreating into your own world of backyard chicken coops, vegetable gardens, and cheese-making? The personal is political, right? At the same time, if you’re only concerned about your little corner of the world, there isn’t much hope for real progress.
Recently, I was drawn into some working parent forums and I was struck by how many parents (truthfully moms) struggle to deal with working and raising children. In many cases, maternity leave is non-existent or too short. Employers are often not very understanding. Co-workers resent you. You get mommy-tracked, etc…
I’ve been fortunate that my employer did make some accomodations during my pregnancy. They were understanding when I was too sick to work during the first trimester. I worked from home during part of my pregnancy, although this was not allowed after maternity leave. Working part-time is out of the question. However, everyone in our department values a balanced life so working more than 40 hours is simply not the norm.
If I were politically-minded, I would try to do something so that all women have access to longer (paid) maternity leave. Instead, like many, I ignore the issue since I was lucky enough to make it work for myself. It is simply easier to be apathetic.
Now I would never advocate apathy. Too much is at stake. Whether you’re aware of political issues or not, a myriad of issues affect your life. If you must “keep it simple” at all costs, here are my suggestions:
- Focus on one main cause that matters most to you and devote your time to this.
- Donate money instead of time.
- Write to the media, your congress person, etc…
Are you politically active? Why or why not?