"What others call you, you become. It's a terrible magic that everyone can do--so do it. Call yourself what you wish to become."
We went and saw Rogue One on Wednesday, and like I always do after rebellion stories (see: The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, the entire canon of post-apocalyptic literature, etc) I left feeling a weird, complicated mess of inspired and frustrated. Inspired because rebellions are built on hope but frustrated because...well, where do they come from?
After the election, when so many people were making comparisons to fiction and so many others were upset about the comparisons to fiction, I wrote about potatoes and about using whatever fuels your heart when it needs to be fueled. I am a person who often turns to fiction when I can't find a "real life" example of a way out. In fact, the stories I turn to most devotedly are often radically fictional: science fiction and fantasy, the kinds of stories that are not only untrue but impossible, at least in a literal sense.
What I find in these fictional worlds, though, are examples of how to be. The characters, even the ones of imaginary and inhuman species, provide endless options for how people can react to oppression, how they can respond to their personal calls to action, and the myriad forms those calls can take. Some heroes pull swords from stones, while others find wrenches in the eternally autumnal woods. The struggle I sometimes have, though, is feeling like maybe I just wouldn't be of any use whatsoever in a rebellion. The heroes of so many of these stories are young and brave, adventurous and wild.
Then I remember Molly Weasley. Molly Weasley, whose oldest children were born in the darkest days she knew, while everyone she cared about was out fighting. Who made a home and swore that anyone who needed it would be welcome, no matter how tight the purse strings got. Who never let a lost kid stay lost. I'll probably never be Katniss or Leia or Rey, but I can be Molly Weasley. I can be the person who makes it possible for rebellion to continue by making sure the children are safe and fed, because as any union-buster knows, a family whose children are safe and fed can fight a lot longer.
Real justice is messy. It's complicated and never complete. It takes all kinds of work, and everybody has something to offer. You just have to offer it.
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