Sunday, September 30, 2012

Being a Family of Agtivists

Approaching strangers with something to give them has got to be one of the most confronting things a person could do. Making eye contact for that brief second then looking down at your out streached hand with the flyer in it, willing them with your gaze to look and reach out and accept. When they do, that connection, that moment of acceptance creates an internal sigh of relief and a boom of joy in your heart. You get bolder and look them in the eye again and say "Thank you". Your gratitude tells them, "This means so much, because our world means so much, because you mean so much." We may not know each other but for that brief second we are connected and they matter to a complete stranger, not just because of their vote, but because they create the world we all live in.

My children and I loaded up on Prop 37 flyers and went to the Irvine Global Village Festival yesterday. It was so hot that my three year old's bangs glued to his forehead with sweat and he threw down his hat in protest. Before we approached I rallied the troops and we sorted out what we were going to say.
"Can I give this to you about Prop 37?"
"Do you know about GMO's?"
"Please vote Yes on Prop 37..."
"Mom, say another one..." Bodee requested. He needed to find one that was easy for him to roll off his tongue. One that he related to. He settled on " Will you help label GMO's?"
Ben chose "Please vote YES to label GMO's."
Bronson just said, "Here."

Each had their own way, all was okay. With unity in our hesitation but armed with determination, we walked through the throngs of thousands of families, shoppers, teens and diverse groups of people and began passing out flyers.
The kids lost their words at first, and then found them again. When the first person accepted their bodies sighed and they gained confidence that had them stand taller. Some Persian ladies even stopped and asked for their flyers. These kind people have no idea, or maybe they do....of the contribution they made to my sons in accepting what they had to offer. My sons made a difference, but only because people let them.

We walked through the festival passing out flyers. Sometimes it was confronting, people shook their heads NO before we could even get two words out. Sometimes their hands were full so we didn't bother to approach them. Other times they reached gratefully for what we had, trusting, accepting, and sometimes they stopped and we sensed we had a moment to share more about the issue. They listened, looked over the material, shared a story of their own and we look into each other's eyes with joy in finding a kindred soul who learns, cares and shares about the same thing. Our world felt safer, connected and stronger because someone else out there cares and shares just as much.

We made our way to the children's section and there, practically dragging and dripping with sweat, I heard my sons to the shady craft table and take their flyers from them. They earned shady craft time. Their father finds us after parking and stands in the sliver of slight coolness with them while I venture out again. He supports my passion and I love every bit of his patience.

I never used to be this person, the one with the flyer, the one who got in the face of strangers about a political issue. The one who would get over her fears of looking like a loon and do it anyway. It's so freeing to share. I feel so fulfilled when my two stacks of flyers run out and my bag is much lighter. I have shared with maybe a hundred or two people in an hour and all I want to do is share longer.
I can't wait to go to another gathering or just to stand on the street. I know now why people become activist, or in this case Agtivists, because connecting with other people and sharing about something that matters to us, is, an act of setting aside the fear and fulfilling on who we really are...beings who make a difference in other people's lives. We are all in this life together.
There are people who don't want to know and then there are people who want to know.
They may not know what it is, but they are willing, open and that openness doesn't just allow them to be contributed to, they actually contribute to others.
To those people who accepted a contribution from my sons and I yesterday, thank you for your generosity and graciousness.
You create the world in which I am proud to have my sons grow up.

Zen Honeycutt


  1. Woo! Hoo! Great blog post! You are a wonderful role model for your children :)

    I hope to meet you in person soon. Are you going to Genetic Roulette movie in CM this Wed???

  2. Great read! You and your kids are much appreciated. My family and I are happy to share this world with people like you. Monsanto and the like, on the other hand, have to go. Thanks again