To Lubbock With Love

Posted on May 29, 2020


A long time ago, Life in the Boomer Lane participated in a workshop in which people declared their visions for their lives. Huge visions were encouraged. Impossible visions were applauded. As time went on, visions became grander, more expansive. LBL will admit, she was enthralled by these visions. And some of these visions actually manifested.

LBL spent her time trying to come up with a vision that was as grand and expansive as those she heard around her. It was tough. She was older than virtually all of the participants in the workshop. Her marriage had recently ended. Her life was, to put it mildly, in a bit of a flux. Plus, she was really short and had bad allergies, never an asset under any circumstances.

One day, one of the workshop groups came back from a retreat. They all proudly declared what they had learned. Many declared The predictable, huge visions. others impossible goals. Then one woman quietly said, “I learned that no vision is too big, and no vision is too small.”

Those were the words that got through. Those were the words that changed everything. Those were the words that have guided LBL ever since. Those were the words that have directed LBL to make decisions about how her actions may impact one individual, whether that individual may be a child, a grandchild, a student in her class, a reader of this blog. Those were the words that keep her from being overwhelmed by a government that has failed her and so many others, and, instead, take an action that might encourage one person to vote.

To that end, she is handwriting postcards, one at a time, to people in Lubbock, Texas, as part of a program being run by the Texas NAACP. These people are no longer on the voter rolls, and she is giving them a website in which they can review their data and re-register if need be. There are about 100 names and addresses on her list. The work is mind-numbing.

LBL has never been to Texas, let alone Lubbock. But as she writes “Dear (Whoever)” on each postcard, she visualizes that person she is writing to. She imagines their lives, their own visions, their futures. She imagines them picking up the postcard and wondering who this person is who has taken the time to write to them. She also imagines them tossing the postcard into the trash, where it nestles among eggs shells and and coffee grinds.

It doesn’t matter. She is looking for that one person who will read the postcard and take action. One person. And she imagines all the countless other postcard writers who might have their own Person.

The largest changes ultimately come down to very personal choices, one person at a time. Do I allow this corrupt and uncaring administration to continue? Do I accept the marginalization of people in this society as inevitable? Do I believe that climate change is overwhelming and so don’t do anything? Do I look the other way when I see behavior that harms another person? Do I remain silent when I come close to someone who isn’t wearing a mask?

These are among the infinite number of small decisions we make each day as human beings. In a collective sense, those decisions have great power. But in an individual sense, their power is just as great. We have absolutely no idea how our behavior is observed by those around us. We have absolutely no idea how our actions impact people of whom we aren’t even aware. And we have absolutely no idea of just how powerful we really are.

Posted in: commentary