I'm reading more in "learned optimism" and thinking about the sentence "The very thought "Nothing I can do matters" prevents us from acting. This hits home especially because KK just read Elie Wiesel's holocaust story, "Night" for school and wrote an essay about why it matters if we stand up to what we see as harmful acts on personal, community, and global levels. It touched me to sit with her as she came up with examples, like avoiding and countering gossip, that a teen can take to prevent victimization of others in daily life.
Action for what we perceive to be good has always been a high value in our family, and it never really occured to me that one could feel that personal actions didn't matter. I feel a little more empathy tonight with people who don't pick up litter when walking in the neighborhood or don't write that letter to the editor that they feel needs writing or speak up to protect a weaker person who is being treated unjustly. I am so fortunate to have been raised to believe my actions make a difference even though every action doesn't bear immediate or visible fruit every time.