Thursday, December 13, 2012

400 Word Question # 2: A Vision for the Creatively Maladjusted

Hello.  I'm Katherine Gotthardt, and I am creatively maladjusted.  I'm proud of it.  It has taken me 43 years to become what I am today, and I don't think such an effort should be wasted.  I have been through the wringer, from poverty to abuse to victimization by white collar criminals.  I've worked my way through depression, PTSD and anxiety.  But through these experiences, I've learned to advocate for myself and others.
At times, I despaired.  I felt isolated, unsupported.  I literally wanted to kill myself.  But then there were times I received, recognized and accepted the kind of love I needed, validation from my loved ones and angels (many of whom I don't even know) that I wasn't crazy, that the government and financial institutions I was fighting really are abusive.  I persevered, not because I am any Martin Luther King, Jr., but because I was inspired by him, a man who stood up for justice in the midst of persecution.  In helping himself, he helped others and changed the world.
One thing I learned from experience, though, is that alone, I held little to no power except my resolve.  As VOICE has demonstrated, there is more power in numbers.  Yes, revolutions can sometimes be launched by a single person such as Rosa Parks, but she was an anomaly, a gift from God.
I know what it's like to be homeless.  I know what it's like to need a food pantry, to have to rely on food stamps and WIC, to not have access to good healthcare or legal services.  I know what poverty, discrimination and hurt feel like, and because of that, I better understand anyone who has gone through something similar.  I find myself empathizing with criminals, minorities, soldiers, the mentally ill and sundry other underdogs.  And I am glad I can. 
I am blessed to have been saved from these conditions.  Not everyone is so lucky.  So I have more than one question today.  First, how can we empower more of the marginalized, nurturing the vulnerable to the point where they no longer feel like victims but strong survivors who can indeed make a difference?  Second, how can we bring a diverse group of people together to form a successful, peaceful revolution?  VOICE is a start.  But what else can we do, as individuals and as community?  Furthermore, how far are we willing to take it?

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