Passion for the Important: Humanitarianism, Lives Movements, Toilet Paper

My fiancée and I disagree on so many things. It’s not what you’re thinking—we disagree on important things. Examples: opinions on sex work, thoughts on which countries we should focus on in humanitarian projects, #[INSERT TYPE OF LIFE]matters movements, who left the toilet roll empty again—you get the picture. Important things.

We can argue for hours. It’s not arguing in the this-is-meaningless-and-we’re-getting-a-divorce (oh wait, we’re not married until April 14th) way. It’s arguing in the we’re-critically-thinking-and-learning-about-alternative-perspectives way. For the record, I am always right in the end. *looks shadily to the left* 

What does this say about us as a couple? Not much. What does it say about us as people? We’re passionate. We’re passionate about what is going on around us in some way. That matters. She’s a liberal feminist. I’m a self-labeled reformed-Republican-gone-Democrat. We both have held some strong one-sided opinions in the past and we still do, to some degree, in the present. 

We both have flaws. My God, do we have flaws. But I heard something in my grad class today that made me realize despite our flaws, we are important people because we have passion about important things.

What did I hear in my class? “If you ignore it, it will happen to you.” 

Exactly. We have an obligation as humans to remain passionate about important things because if we ignore important things, we will find ourselves somewhere we do not want to be. 

No matter our opinions on sex work, if my fiancée and I ignore the issue altogether, we might find ourselves facing a reality we never expected—even if it seems like it is never going to affect us at all. If we shut down our thoughts on which countries we should focus on in our humanitarian projects and simply choose to do nothing, we may find ourselves in need of massive help ourselves, unaware that our help doubles as a prevention of terrible things happening to us too. If we support no particular #livesmatter movement in order to avoid the decision of which needs the most help or which is most credible or which is most all-encompassing, then we support no movement, which means one day when we need our own movement, we may be out of luck ourselves. 

As long as we as people, my fiancée and I included, keep caring about important things and passionately, it’s okay if we’re arguing (try to be civil, y’all). It’s okay to feel differently as long as you don’t stop caring. If we ignore it, it can happen to us—it will happen to us. So we have no choice but to care.

And we have to care about the small things along with the big things (let’s agree the toilet paper issue falls under the “big things,” okay?). We have to care about all things. Even though we can’t handle every single thing, we can continue to form opinions and care about all things…while working toward the number of things we can manage simultaneously. 

So care. Care about the important things. Be passionate. Fight, and fight well. Never give up.

“If you ignore it, it will happen to you.”

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