It is everywhere! On the television…in the paper. Terrorists! Terrorism! Colin Powell! Bush! Saddam Hussein! Color coded threat alerts. Troops are being deployed. Parents are saying heartfelt goodbyes to sons and daughters. People are PROTESTING! And the future is uncertain! But, in my circle of mother-friends we have not discussed Mr. Bush and the possibility of war with Iraq. It hasn’t been the subject matter of our kitchen table talks, or phone conversations. No one has felt the urgent need to talk about it…and believe me, we make time to talk about things weighing heavy on our minds. For the most part, we are concerned, civic-minded folks, but this issue has not found its way into our everyday lives. The threat of war is real. Leaves me to wonder. WHY? Why aren’t me and mine talking about it? Aren’t we afraid of war? Are we coping with the uncertainty by pushing it to the back of our minds? Are we tuning out or buffering ourselves because we feel there is nothing we can do about President Bush and his mission? What? We don’t have the desire to chip away at this mountain created by forces we think are beyond our control? Maybe we are leaving the worry to the people we elected to look out for us? Hmmmm.
Or are we just so wrapped up in the complexities and demands of our own day-to-day lives that we can’t afford to look too far beyond our own front door? Right here at home, people are struggling to meet their basic needs… food, shelter, decent health care, a living wage. Our children are missing, suffering, failing. Young men and women are struggling to deal with the inadequacies of this America. Fighting the battles of poverty everyday. Iraq is a universe away for many souls. Hussein is not the enemy our poorest citizens fear or are concerned about. The enemy is in their own backyard. It is the strain and despair that poverty breeds. It is the body of crime and hunger that wears a very American face. And so I imagine, many can’t stress about being nuked or “anthraxed” when their critical mission is to feed and shelter their family. But what about my circle of mother-friends? I believe we are nurturing the immediate. Taking care of home and subconsciously praying that our individual efforts to raise our children and build strong families will have a trickle down effect on our neighborhood, city, society. Yeah, it’s cliche, but children are our future and perhaps we feel our biggest civic duty is to create healthy citizens. So, I find myself absorbed everyday with my battles…the ones that affect me and mine directly. My immediate reality. I applaud the individuals protesting, picketing and rebelling for change. We need those vocal souls to keep shouting…chipping away at that mountain. We also need the invisible soldiers on the home front…holding it all down. Surviving. Keeping the children safe and giving them reasons to smile, hope, and dream. Despite the overwhelming doom and gloom being fed to us via TV. Turn it off. Read a good book. Take care of the “right here and right now!” Riverwest Currents – Volume 2 – Issue 3 – March 2003
by Tanya Cromartie-Twaddle