There is a traditional story (origin unknown) that goes something like this:
Two women are fishing on the side of the river, enjoying the weather and each other’s company. They have had quite a good catch, and are getting ready to head back, when they notice that many people are floating down the river, crying out for help. One of the women drops her fishing pole and begins pulling people out of the water. The other drops her pole and begins walking upstream.
The first fisher turn to her friend in horror. “What are you doing?”, she asked, “These people need to be pulled out of the river before they drown.”
Her friend nodded. “Yes, they do. Please continue to help them. I’m going upriver to see what is pushing them in”.
Since finding this uncredited story while writing a research paper while working toward my MSW, it has resonated with me. Social workers play a lot of roles in society, everything from case managers to counselors to administrators to politicians, and in those roles they are often caught between pulling people in immediate danger out of the river, and trying to find out how to prevent them falling in the first place.
All day long, in my day job, I roll up my sleeves and attempt to pull drowning people out of the river. It is backbreaking, exhausting work, and leaves no time for that hike upriver to stop the flow of drowning people. This blog is my attempt to walk upstream and find the root causes of the pernicious problems in US and world societies.
In it I intend to explore racism, sexism, corporatism, and a host of other -isms that directly harm and disenfranchise humans. I intend to combine my personal experiences with well-documented research in order to give a clear picture of issues that affect us all, and propose solutions.
Since ideas are a dime a dozen, if you have the time, patience, and wherewithal to steal an idea and make a difference, feel free. Just let me know how it works for you. My writing is copyrighted under creative commons (see the footer, below). Any inspiration it might give you in your own journey up the river is not.
- Social Justice Bard’s Social Justice Metaphors (chrisbrecheen.blogspot.com)
- Profiles in Social Justice: Meet Lori (atheistrev.com)
- Naomi Klein Calls for System Change to Address Climate and Inequality (desmog.uk)
- Octavia’s Brood – YouTube (samueldelany.tumblr.com)
- What the World Needs Now is Empathy (sandiegofreepress.org)