The way I see it, folks, tomorrow is a freebie.
It’s a totally bonus day that we only get once every four years.
You won’t have a February 29th next year, and you got by without one last year. Since we don’t plan on it, then, it’s essentially a total bonus, right?
So here’s my thought:
Let’s “waste” this extra day fighting some battles we’ll almost certainly lose. You know the ones–they need to be fought, to right a wrong or just stir up some trouble for those who need to be troubled. But we avoid them, because it seems more prudent to focus our energies on more attainable victories.
But not tomorrow.
Those 24 hours are a calendar’s gift, so we might as well throw them away on some of these hopeless causes.
My list, to get the day started:
- Public assistance eligibility for immigrant families–can you think of a less popular cause? But economic hardship sentences some citizen children of immigrant parents to a lifetime of reduced life chances, and financial desperation traps some immigrant women in violent homes. Our public assistance systems are designed to reduce hardship and provide a safety net, and these families–part of our communities–deserve that, too.
- Tax fairness–okay, so I fight this one on some of the other days, too, but I figure I can spare a few extra hours today. We need a revenue system equal to the challenges that face us, as a state and a country, and maybe this Leap Day can put us over the top.
- Electing truly progressive candidates to my state legislature–most of the year I’ll do some campaigning for some allies whose relatively moderate views make them important stopgaps in our current political environment, but I have dreams of seeing some folks with big plans and huge hearts elected, and maybe some fundraising calls on this extra afternoon can help.
- Peace on earth–yeah, I know. But, then, I ask myself: what have I done lately to try to stop war and promote peace? The answer, sadly, is not much, even though I very much want my kids to grow up in a safer world. I’ll spend some time today checking out the activities of peace groups local and international, and find a way to contribute some of my time (or, most likely, my money) as an investment in the future I want for them, and for us all.
The way I see it, we spend too much energy talking ourselves out of some of the fights we really should embrace.
Pragmatism is overrated, and the greatest movements for social justice certainly never conducted a feasibility analysis first.
We have to be strategic, but we also have to be bold. And stubborn. And, sometimes, a bit foolhardy.
So, what’s on your list of losing battles for our bonus day?
Happy February 29th.