(incidentally, my dad died 4 years ago tomorrow).
One of the things I remember most about my father was his activism. If he saw something he thought was wrong or unjust, he let people know and more often than not, took action himself. He even threatened a 'sit-in' protest at a local hospital once - he'd been admitted for triple bypass surgery (a repeat) and the surgery kept getting cancelled as he got sicker and sicker. The doctors said that they didn't know when they were going to be able to do the operation, and that they were going to discharge him to home because they needed the bed for someone else.
Dad was having none of that. He told them that if they wanted him to leave, they'd best get the poilice in to move him because he wasn't going anywhere until he'd had the surgery. Then he called the local newspapers, TV stations, radio stations and even a national TV station to tell them about his plight. The resulting publicity (front page news in some publications) must have shamed the local health trust into taking action, because he had the operation 3 days later.
Whilst I haven't gone so far as to stage a sit-in protest, I have inherited my father's activist trait. I can't stand by and simply watch as events happen, and I also can't sit back and let someone else take care of it. My husband tells me all the time that some of the crusades I go on are none of my business and that I should leave them alone. My response to that is that I'm making it my business and that I'm taking care of something nobody else wants to get involved with.
A good example of this activism happened earlier this week. I was at the BX with Hubs, perusing the magazine rack, when I found a publication that was dedicated to the cultivation and use of marajuana.
It was all about pot. How to grow it, where to grow it, what kind of fertilizer, how to use it, where the good stuff comes from...it was pot, pot and more pot.
A magazine all about pot for sale in a store on a military installation.
For those of you not familiar with the Uniform Code of Military Justice, it is an offence for ANY service member to grow, possess and use marajuana (or other illegal substaces). The penalties can range from dishonorable discharge to jail time, loss of rank and forfeiture of all pay and allowances. It's illegal in the civilian world, but the military holds it's personnel to a higher standard when it comes to dope, so to see such a magazine for sale in a military store? Inappropriate. Incredibly inappropriate.
I showed it to Hubs. He said that it might be inappropriate, but that they also sell porn magazines and those aren't exactly appropriate either. "Yeah, but porn's legal. This isn't" was my reply. He said for me to leave it alone, that it wasn't my business.
I couldn't. Considering what we've been through with our son, I simply could not walk away and do nothing.
So, I emailed the base commander, asking him if he was aware of this publication being sold in HIS BX and telling him I thought it was highly inappropriate.
I sent the email at 5pm yesterday. At 10am this morning, I got a call from the manager of the BX, telling me that she had pulled the magazines from the shelf and that she would make certain that they would not be making a repeat appearance. She agreed that they were not suitable for the facility and that had she seen them when they first came in she would never have let them out on the sales floor.
I have to say I feel very satisfied with this result. I saw a problem, I took action, and I got it solved.
Thanks, dad. You raised me well.
1 hour ago