February 27, 2003 04:24 PM

I posed a question about maintaining motivation to the We Have Brains crew last weekend.

[Excuse me. I have to interrupt myself here to say - Look! WHB has its own domain! Hey, I'm excited. I think it's prettier and more functional-looking, too - but then, I designed it. Of course I think it's pretty and functional.]

It's clearly one of life's great ironies that a question about motivation sparked little discussion. I can only assume that others are too busy being motivated to talk about. But I. I am not.

I love the women who answer this question with - well, I just have to. Whose sense of activism is so much a part of their selves that its just what they do. Man, I respect that. That sense of having to dig in because there's just so much to do.

I struggle a lot with motivation. A big part of this problem is that I have boundless ideas of what I could do, and I get stuck. I volunteer to take on things I really don't have time for. I overcommit. I am, like everyone else working the now-standard 50 hour workweek, often tired and occasionally inclined to little more than watching television.

But I falter. I falter when I think of how big things are, how slowly change comes, how I am not the all-knowing ruler of Man. I falter when, in the wake of things vast and ponderous and deeply troubling, people quibble over things like which words to use. I falter, on days when I feel small, because everyone else doesn't think like I do.

This isn't about why I falter. Or even what drives me to do when things are okay.

How do I un-falter?

I retreat to what is, despite my liberal and evenhanded approach at times, a core of tremendous, unfaltering, self-righteousness. I know that things would be better if people did what I know they should do. And thought what I know they should think. Most of the time, I'm absolutely certain of this.

I would not, however, be a micromanaging sort of all-knowing leader of Man. I think we dicker much too much over the details of things. And I know, I really know, that if we could get over the silly stuff - like, say - some people like porn, and some don't - and all agree of the really big things, the world would be better for it.

So. I'm motivated by the big things. By, essentially, the fact that not everyone gets to choose what they do in life - be it a result of poverty, gender, race, whatever - and that isn't fair. And when I falter, I just remember the big things. And know that I'm right.

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THat's the thing. I didn't answer this one - yet - becuase I'm so busy. WHy? Because there are so many things that I said "I have to" to and from that, have no time.
ANd yes, you are right.

these are the thoughts of Alison on March 8, 2003 08:06 AM

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