Blog Action Day – What can I do?

22Oct08

Originally published October 15, 2008

So today is Blog Action Day as I’m sure you’ve seen all over the network. I think it’s important to participate – Why you may ask?

Because Blog Action Day is using Social Media to change our conversation about issues that affect all of us. It gives people an opportunity to speak out against the injustices in the world. It gives you a voice, it gives me a voice. It gives the issue a voice.

This year’s topic is Poverty.

I honestly don’t know what to write and this is the second blog entry I’m doing about the subject. The first one was on my personal blog and ended up being way more political than I had ever wanted, but such is life; it’s what came out of me.

As an association professional I wonder what I can do to help on this issue. There are associations out there whose goal is to help end poverty. Share Our Strength is an excellent example of this.

Poverty isn’t something that affects me daily, just like most of America. But on the other hand, when I drive through the streets of Baltimore, I drive by housing projects, I drive by homeless people asking for money, I drive by junkies, immigrant laborers trying to work for the the day and hundreds over other people struggling to make ends meet. So just because it doesn’t affect me, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It means that I ignore it.

I’m too wrapped up in what I have to get done everyday to take the time to actually recognize the world around me. When I drive around the streets of Baltimore, it’s the time during my day where I can let my mind be as quiet or as loud as it wants. I don’t have to focus on anything except what I want to. Unfortunately that means I’m not looking at what’s around me. I live in a city that has suffered and continues to suffer today. A city trying to slowly rebuild itself, in some ways this means complete gentrification (thank you Canton) and in other places it means keeping that Baltimore spirit breathing (like in Hampden). One thing I will say about the rebuilding is that there is a growing number of artists in Baltimore, most of them living in poverty themselves. But with art comes life and I think Baltimore will be able to breath again.

I guess what Blog Action Day has taught me is that I don’t take enough time to recognize the issues. I’ve become jaded enough by them that I just ignore it and carry on instead of being actively involved in the conversation. As an artist I have a voice that is unique and I have the chance to speak to others about what is going on in the world. Do I use this voice effectively? I’m not sure, but this is my chance to make sure that I focus on why I found my calling in theatre. The reason I do theatre is to change the world. So here’s my chance.

Well thanks to BAD’08 for reminding me to take a deeper look and join the world wide discussion.

~Lynn

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