WES Blog — Justice. Self-care.

Managing a home and a family and making sure there’s actually food to pack for lunch.

Life, for me, often feels like a constant dance between the things I’d like to be doing, the things I have to be doing, and the things I really should be doing. Occasionally one thing lines up to be all three of those, but more often I feel caught between the limits of my abilities and time and all that the world calls out for me to do.

Put another way, as EB White did: “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”

Almost everyone at WES wants to be engaged in some way in justice work—you tell me at new member meetings or when we chat, or you say as much in Community Sharing on Sundays. But like me, you have busy lives, or complicated ones; you have not enough time, or too little energy; and sometimes, you tell me, you just aren’t even sure where to start.

On Sunday in platform, we shared this Commitment Card, a tool used in many organizing circles. My hope was that it would give you a starting place—help you to see how you might say yes to one meeting, or one action, or even one kind of learning.

Because here’s the thing: all of the feelings that we are busy, or tired—those feelings are real. I know, because I have them, and I would never minimize them. I also know that it helps me when I know what I CAN do, even when it’s smaller than I might wish. When I feel I am connected to the larger work in some way, tangibly. It helps my sense of connection to the whole world—and frankly, to myself.

And when I can multitask—bring my kids along so they are learning, or commute there with a friend so we get some chat time—so much the better. Yesterday at the MLK Parade was that for me…fun, meaningful, and a chance to wear my warmest coat. Bonus fashion opportunity!

Justice work can, and should, fit in our lives. It isn’t just for the rarefied few who devote their whole beings to it, but rather something that each of us is invited into, on our own time and in our own way. I hope to see you soon.


Amanda Poppe, Senior Leader