This is a short but hopefully, meaningful reminder of just how much people can accomplish. It is a story of how little we can accomplish alone and how much more power we can show in numbers. But there is more that is needed than volume.
We can tweet and post day and night about the tragedies that surround and consume us, both domestic and foreign. We can attach photos that show the horrific long range views of rocket fire being exchanged between Hammas and Israel, killing civilians and children on both sides. We can only surmise the cause of an unusually high incidence of plane crashes as the media hint of sabotage and conspiracy. We shouldn’t fret or worry or wonder. The NTSB and FAA and NSA and TSA will determine the causes for us.
We can write to our Senators and Representatives about our constitutional rights, about legislation that threatens our Social Security and Medicare benefits, about substandard infrastructure resulting in hundreds of decomposing bridges and poor street lighting that serves as an open invitation to muggings and armed robbery.
We can start petitions and sign the petitions of others for tougher background checks on those who want to purchase high-powered automatic weapons bestowing them with a license to kill . Most likely, months will pass before these requests make it to a circular file, never to be seen again. Only five-thousand or so malcontents, signed the thing. In a country of 311 million, give or take 45-million or so that the GOP declares have no right to be in America, what’s a mere five thousand?
We can protest the uptick in crime in once quiet neighborhoods. We can weep for our loved ones who die when police seem to lose all logic and resort to brutality and unnecessary force because they can. We can prosecute those who say they shot and killed an unarmed but suspicious looking boy in self defense based on stand your ground laws. We can weep again when the shooter is acquitted despite overwhelming evidence of his guilt because he had the better attorney. We can light candles for teenagers who lose their lives to deranged students who walk into classrooms and cafeterias mowing down anything or anyone who moves. And then they kill themselves.
We can only hope those who represent us, respond and take action. Their followup and support from congressional colleagues still may not be enough.
We can debate the need for more jobs and higher education and job training but with the caveat that success may come down to whether today’s employers are willing to pay a wage that will make it possible for a a single mother to pay for the bus fare or gas to get to the workplace.
This is a story of strength in numbers but it is also about timing and mass epiphany. Because nothing really happens until enough people in the same situation, in the same place at the same time, with the same passion, decide the same thing and take action at once.
I could be wrong but I’d guess the odds of this phenomenon happening is probably one in a million.