Recently, whilst discussing a future yarn bomb with some fellow crafters, the issue of combining politics with knit graffiti was raised. Without intending any flippancy, I made the off-hand comment that everything I do tends to be steeped in politics. I’ve been thinking about that a lot in the last few days, and I wonder if everything I do does have a political element.
That is, is everything inherently political to those more politically inclined?
Obviously, the things I do at home and outside my ‘day job’ are not necessarily political. Or not intentionally so. If that were the case, not only would I drive my husband and cat absolutely mad, I’d do my own head in (more so than I already have)!
Certainly though, because of my career choices, much of what I do for work tends towards the political sphere and can’t help but carry controversy amongst some. And, given how I work as well as where my ‘home office’ is, it’s difficult at best to separate work from everything else. But, did I choose my career because of my political interests? Or am I interested politically because of my own career choices? Does it really matter?
I don’t have any answer, and I’m not sure that it really matters. What I have noticed as I’ve bumbled along that merry-go-round called life is that I recognise the political in the mundane more often then not. Certainly, engaging in policy debates and discussions, working out how to make my own little corner of this gigantic world better and the outcomes of my own work all carry consequences, most often political.
But, perhaps more meaningful are the the products I consume, the small businesses I support, the news items and outlets I read and share, and the organisations and agencies with whom I work all of which speak more about my own ‘community’ and tend to reflect the sort of world I hope we can all eventually live in. If an agency has questionable ethics or a product was produced through less-than-admirable conditions, is it worth it? Not really, at least not to me. There is a human cost which has nothing to do with money in any currency, and recognising those costs is one aspect of the choices we make each day.
Perhaps that is political. Mostly, though, it’s more about hoping that each of my actions and those of my own small family have a positive impact on the world around us, and, in particular, support policies which are just and humane and place value on each individual rather than a particular class or ethnicity or gender. Or even place more value on one individual over another. We may not have all been given the same opportunities in life or born into similar circumstances, but we are all worthy and deserving.
If that makes everything I do inherently political, I’m okay with that.