Wednesday, August 09, 2006

(Don't) wanna be sedated

Once upon a time I was going to do good things. I had no illusions about being GREAT, or famous, but I was going to spend some time (not necessarily the whole rest of my life) doing a meaningful, helping-those-less-fortunate kind of work.

Somewhere along the way I became less idealistic. Actually I don't know if that's true, I think what has happened is that two sides of myself coexist uneasily. I pride myself on being realistic and practical. Sometimes I go too far and call myself cyncial; this isn't really true, but I find it hard to respect people who don't take a realistic view of how things really work. The workplace, with its small 'p' and big 'P' politics, and seeing some of the workings of government, has had a strong influence on me. Still, as always, I try to be balanced. Most politicians' hearts are in the right places, or at least start out that way, but the system requires distortion to keep it fed and to keep them in the places they need/want to be.

I still have the desire to do something, just... good. Something that helps people and makes the world a better place. I don't mean in a big way. I guess I am very attached to working in road safety because I can see the meaning in it and the good that can come of it. But I don't feel like I am contributing anything unique in the field, and I always remain well in the shadow of my mentors.

I meet with a friend who is newly fired up to change the world. For some reason I was compelled to provide reality checks about politics, compromise and realism. But inside, all the while, I was jumping up and down with excitement and glee, imagining my way to join this bandwagon.

I suspect I'll have to find my own bloody bandwagon.

I never like to put my hand up for a challenge. (It might be hard! I might have to talk to strangers! Think on my feet!) I wonder what it will take to push me to the next step.

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