What if none of my words survive, and only my acts have lasting effect? What if I die, and to learn about me people can only examine indirectly? I don't often think about what people would think of me after I die, but if I did, I imagined they'd learn directly, from my own words. What other "leavings" do I have?
I don't think I can really figure that out. But I know what I hope. I hope that as I interact with people, they examine their prejudices more. (if I'm wishing, I wish that they would be incited to learn about prejudice and work fiercely against it in themselves and in the world) I hope that they're inspired to be more honest and open, to value true connection over appearing admirable. I would hope that they would care more for the earth; recycle, consume fewer resources, hug trees. I would hope that they would not let injustice pass uncontested. I would hope that they ask questions instead of assuming. What I hope is that I will pass my values on, and that they last.
While I was writing this entry (sitting in the social sciences building of my school), a classmate came over, sat next to me, and engaged me in conversation.
"So are you, like, an advocate?"
"ehhh, it depends on your definition I guess. If I see something that seems to be an injustice to me, I'll speak up -- if I can find the words." (I think of an advocate as someone with significantly more eloquence and boldness than I have)
Ze notices the "Queer: Bold or daring; brave; original; unrestrained by existing ideas or conventions; uninhibited." sticker on my laptop and says, "so... what's... are you...?"
and I laugh and say, "I'm queer."
"what does that mean?"
"well, queer is an umbrella term that refers to everyone who is not just straight -- I'm an equal opportunity queer." (Ze still looks confused) "I don't care what shape people's bodies are, just WHO they are."
At that point I realize I have an opportunity to find out what a "normal" person's impression of me is, so I ask if ze read me as queer before (ze said no, just as a hippie 'cause of the tie dye), and I ask what zir general impression of me was. Ze said I seemed nice and not-shy (because I speak up in class) -- I dunno what "nice" meant to zir but ze went on to explain that ze admires that and tries to be a nice person, and said "maybe you can be an advocate for me and help me learn to be nice." I laughed happily and thought that that's pretty much what I want to do with my life.