Wednesday, October 25, 2023

#298 / Everything Worth Doing


That is NOT Mariame Kaba, pictured above. It's Naomi Klein (I'll put a picture of Kaba at the bottom of this blog posting, and I will tell you who she is in just a minute). I wrote about Klein, recently, and you can click the following link if you'd like to revisit my blog posting from October 19, 2023

That week-old blog posting reported on an August New York Times' article about Klein, describing her latest book, Doppelganger. On September 10th, The New Yorker ran an article about Klein, online, which was a discussion between Klein and Jia Tolentino. Klein's book, Doppelganger, was again the focus. The New Yorker article was titled, "Naomi Klein Sees Uncanny Doubles in Our Politics." 

If you can elude whatever paywall protection system might have been erected to defend The New Yorker's proprietary rights - and I hope you can - I do recommend that you read that Tolentino-Klein discussion. In fact, however, as is so often the case, what most directly struck me, as I read what The New Yorker published, was a single phrase. 

The phrase that attracted my attention was attributed to Mariame Kaba, who is, as Wikipedia informs us, "an American activist, grassroots organizer, and educator who advocates for the abolition of the prison industrial complex, including all police." Again, Kaba's picture is below. Here is a quick excerpt from that New Yorker write up:

As Mariame Kaba says, everything worth doing is done with other people. And that doesn’t mean we’re going to annihilate our egos or not care about ourselves, but the amount of labor we are putting into optimizing our bodies, our image, our kids, is robbing from the work that needs to be done to preserve the habitability of the planet, to preserve our humanity in the face of those spasms, so we don’t double down on the barbarism, on the borders. We have a ton of work to do, and I don’t believe we will do it unless we get over ourselves a little bit (emphasis added).

I am still remembering what one of our local, Santa Cruz County pundits had to say, back in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, on September 9th. Stephen Kessler, who writes regularly for the local paper, suggested a program of self-care that he commemorated with this phrase: "Let's Hear It For Narcissism." 

I'm going with Kaba, not Kessler. She is absolutely right that everything worth doing is "done with other people." This is true because it happens to be a fact that we're "in this together." If you would like some musical accompaniment, as you contemplate this, try clicking through to The Youngbloods, and sing along with "Get Together." 

Or, if you're willing to think that Jesus might have had a worthwhile perspective on the issue of getting engaged with "other people," including people from a completely different "tribe," people who aren't our kind of people at all, you can click this link for one of the best stories Jesus ever told, the story of the "Good Samaritan." 

And don't forget how he ended it: "Go, and do likewise!"

Mariame Kaba

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!