In Writing 101, I posed a question to my college freshman: what are you passionate about, passionate enough to stand up for? What do you care enough about to leave your warm cozy bed and sleep out in the cold?
For long moments, there were crickets in the classroom. And then came the answers:
1. Black Friday sales.
3. One girl said, "Well, I have never been camping, so I guess I would sleep outside to try camping."
Before you lose faith in the youth, when I tried to come at this same question from another angle, when I thought I had come up with something to ignite a fire under their apathetic butts--a hypothetical reinstatement of a mandatory military draft--their passion and patriotism floored me. I promise you, there is hope for the future.
But this isn't the point of the story. The point is, it made me think about what I would actually leave my bed for. I started posing this question everywhere: to my own kids at the dinner table, lying beside my husband as the snow fell outside our bedroom window, at dinner parties and coffee dates, volunteer groups and morning walks.
Each time I asked it, as the other person spoke, I learned something new about them. The answers have been both touching and telling.
I'll pose the question here, and maybe even challenge you to ask it yourselves. I'm not trying to start something political (the president I want to talk about on this blog is a fat cat for sure, but more of the white belly than the White House variety.)
What do you care enough about that you would leave your warm cozy bed, that you would sacrifice your time and energy to stand for or against, in protest or support?