It's been a long week. I worked 4 double shifts in a row at my restaurant because we're still down a line cook. At the end of the fourth day, I sat down with a friend, and we drank a tall scotch (actually two).
We started talking about COVID-19 and politics and about how we feel like we're on the brink of civil war in our country. We talked about how futile it feels to be cooking eggs and pouring coffee during a deadly pandemic and racial injustice and endless suffering. At the end of the night, I was left wishing that my time was spent fighting for bigger causes instead of just feeding people food and playing music.
I stayed up most of the night thinking about it. And I've returned to a conclusion I've had before. It's nothing new, but it was nice to remember that one of the best ways to choose sides and fight for a cause right now is to simply spend money wisely.
Reader, as a restaurant owner, I can tell you that there is a very good chance that many restaurants are not going to survive COVID-19. As a mother of school-age kids, I can tell you that many teachers will not keep their jobs through COVID-19. And as a performing songwriter, I can tell you that many musicians, actors, and artists are struggling to make ends meet during COVID-19. And finally, as a decent human, I can tell you that many human rights and environmental organizations are feeling fearful for their future during COVID-19. I'm sure you could tell me who's hurting in your life, too.
So there is something to be done while cooking eggs and pouring coffee. I can make sure the eggs and coffee I'm buying are from farmers who value sustainable practices and working wages for their employees. I can pay musicians to play on my restaurant patio. I can eat (and drink tall scotches) at restaurants that employ the people I trust and support.
If you too feel desperate to fight but can't use your fists, don't forget what a couple dollars here and there can do in your community. Fight for the world you want with your pocketbook. I leave you with a picture of my daughter on the paddleboat I rented for us yesterday at Rock Cut State Park. Because right now, that's the best way to fight for the future of state parks. Let's keep the good guys going. I'll see you next Monday. -Em