#BAD12 #powerofwe Blog Action Day
BLOG ACTION DAY 2012 | POWER OF WE | FIND YOUR BUNDLEOctober 15, 2012
I AM a commuter – a four-hour-a-day commuter. I started commuting some years ago to expand my job skills and follow really great career o...
I AM a commuter – a four-hour-a-day commuter. I started commuting some years ago to expand my job skills and follow really great career opportunities. I mean, really great career opportunities. Not necessarily the kind that paid mega bucks but the kind I felt would give me hands-on ways to give voice to the kinds of communities I wanted to be a part of.
Giving voice to community has been my main motivation as a writer. I loved writing about the young sportsman that had earned a place at the nationals or the 70-year-old woman petitioning her neighbourhood and council for better playground amenities. Even where there were losses, the wins were evident. Someone had spoken out. Someone had tried, someone had had a go. For better or worse they were there, sleeves rolled up, boots on. As a young journalist this theme was at the heart of pretty much every piece I wrote.
That played out as a sub-editor and editor. Rather than writing about these things, I was turning inward and supporting a community of journalists and photographers to see, document and broadcast the stories of people from communities we represented.
But what’s it got to do with commuting, I hear you ask? More so, what’s it got to do with Blog Action Day and its theme, the “Power of We”?
Good question. Here’s what I am thinking.
As I’ve written about and supported community – geographic communities, workplace communities and now a community of niche – I’ve personally become seriously disengaged from community.
There is no “We”. There is barely any “me”, so how can there be a “We”.
I struggle to work eight-hour days, and then some, travel for four hours a day, stay central to family, manage a household, be a good friend (forget socialising, that flat-lined eons ago) and volunteer – it just doesn’t happen. Not well anyway.
I find myself reaching for communities I can understand. Ironically, there’s a core group of commuters I see daily. This group punctuates the start and finish of my working day with a black camaraderie particular to long-haul commuters. Bless them.
There’s you – the readers of this wee blog. Even when there’s no time to comment on your posts I lap up the connections that roll past me on this screen. You’re part of the “We” that gives meaning to the “me”.
There’s a saying, of which I can’t remember the words but I can recall the context because I share it with Girl Guides every camp I’m on.
Essentially, as the Guides and I collect wood ahead of cooking a meal I show them how easy it is to break one stick with my bare hands. As we continue to collect kindling, I challenge them to find the point where they can’t break the sticks without significant force and then the point where they can’t break the bundle at all. The sticks we collect are thin, the thinnest sticks required to get our fire started but there is a point where, as a collective, those sticks won’t break. I tell the girls that there is our “bundle”. As a group, we can’t break, we’re strong and if we’re strong, we can do anything.
I’m one stick in that bundle. One thin stick and, mate, I’m broken. That bundle is our “Power of We” and, folks, I’ve lost my bundle.
TELL ME: Who makes up your bundle?