I have mastered the art of the subtle eavesdrop.
By no means did I truly believe that completing my homework in a coffee shop instead of a home filled with rambunctious animals and nagging parents, would lead to more efficiency. But as I sip green tea and hit shuffle on a playlist that took longer to curate than doing my homework will actually take, I find myself listening in on the conversation at the table beside mine. A teenage girl, who most likely attends the same school as me, is truly outraged by the fact that the holiday cups are not the same vibrant red that they were the year before, but instead the classic mermaid branded cup that she receives every other month of the year. She laments to her friend who simply replies,
“We should protest.”
They both laugh, and the subject is forgotten as witty banter in their otherwise highly eventful lives.
Often times, it remains to be seen whether or not the cause you’re fighting for is worth being fought. It is stressful to think that while we are able to practice our rights to free speech, and the ability to protest for our beliefs, those efforts may not always prove fruitful. As I write this article, dozens of protests are being conducted in the world around me. Monumental ideas and concepts including a women’s right to choose, and nuclear proliferation are being fought for while smaller topics such as Starbucks holiday cups are being protested. And just because one issue may be smaller in the grand scheme of things, does it mean that it is not worth it?
In regard to protesting, it is my belief that there is no such thing as protesting a useless topic. Even if you are the only one wrestling the pros and cons of any given issue, if it is an issue that is meaningful to you then you have every right to fight for it. It is personally important to me, as a black American woman, that I speak up for the things that are important to me because I was only recently given that right.
It worries me as an American citizen that- at least once a week- I receive a CNN notification that genuinely frightens me and makes me believe that as a society, we are reverting back to a world reminiscent of a much more tumultuous time, but I have faith that the opportunities given to Americans for peaceful protesting and the ability to voice the opinions of a community of people who may feel as though their voice is not always heard. These occasions give me faith that no matter the outcome of the world around me, America will persevere.