VICTORIA CARLL – ON RVA’S COMMUNITY (2013)

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I have a friend who posts a lot of articles on Facebook that make my blood boil.

“The Virginia General Assembly….”

“The Board of Education….”

“This Large and Obnoxious Corporation…”

And every time I respond to his posts, he responds… “Well, what are YOU doing about it…”

And then I think. Oh crap. He’s right….what AM I DOING about IT?”

And then I become utterly OVERWHELMED at…

…the issues, the projects, the pending disasters of which I should help, complete and avoid. I look around and the sky reminds me of the air pollution that I should help stop. And the streets are reminders that I should push for more public transit. The looks on the faces of the people that I pass on the way to work, remind that I should do more to stop homelessness in my city. My own legs remind that I need to exercise more. And it becomes a whirlwind of necessary improvements, revolutions and remodeling in almost all areas of life. So…I should protest. I should write a million letters to Congress. I should attend more school board meetings. I should attend more city hall meetings. I should shop locally more. I should buy organic. I should join more social activist groups. I should…I should…I should…

But what I need to do is….

…..stop.

And see.

What I DO.

Not what I should do.

And I need to stop.

And see.

What my community does.

And I need to stop and see…

…how this partnership works…

…together.

For I am but one woman.

But my community is many.

A community reaches beyond the circle of people that you know, that you socialize with, that you work with, that you hang with. Your community is a myriad of concentric circles of important, prioritized issues kept and held by each individual. The passion held in the hearts of those within my community, the work within the actions of my community, the intentions within the minds of my community and the goodness that comes from the hands of my community, reach out, reach back and hold us, change us, transform us and are the revolution within which I stand.

Within my community, are those that can attend those meetings and their voices are also my voice. Members of my community cannot be in my classroom each day, teaching compassion to students, but I can and my voice is also their voices.

And when I know that my community trusts in me to do my part, I do so with vigor. I become not an outstretched, incapable, overwhelmed individual that tries to connect to many but ends up depleted, but the opposite. I become enthusiastic, impassioned and even more dedicated to my circle of prioritized issues. I will fight for education; I will fight for equality; I will fight to be mindful; I will fight to be  unconditionally loving in the face of adversity; I will fight to nurture…in my world…in my ways…for you…for me…for my community…for our world. And I trust in you, that you will too…in your ways, for you, for me…for our community…for our world.

Victoria Carll is a teacher at Open High School