I don’t usually write about politics and I guess you already want to stop reading this post after finding out that I wrote about it this time, but, please, give me a shot.
I bet that if I ask a bunch of children what they thought is a “heroic” job, most of them would say “fireman” or “police officer”. They are right. If I ask them why, they would probably say: “because they try to make the world a better place”. Correct answer once again. However, aren’t there plenty of other professions with the same goal? Like teachers, scientists or even politicians? I might sound naïve to you, but give me one more chance to make may point.
I believe that some people see politics as something external; something that has serious implications on their lives but that seems to exist in a remote and untouchable reality. Politicians are just characters of that reality, who, just like those in a movie, appear on our TVs once in a while. Who are they? What are their motivations? Why do they do what they do?
I can’t answer all the questions, but as in any other profession (if politics should or not be a profession is a discussion for another day) there are different people with different motivations in politics. It seems really logical to say so. However, when I say that I’m in a political party, people often answer something like “Oh god! Why? You are such a good person!”. Since when is being a bad person a pre-requisite to have a political life? And what can we call a “bad person” in politics? Sure, I don’t always agree with everything that happens on a political level in Portugal. Actually, I disagree most of the time. But do I think that everyone involved with it is a “bad person”? Couldn’t we all just be good people trying to make “the world a better place” but with different ideas of what a “better place” is like? Ok, I admit I may be being naïve in this point once again, but even so, wouldn’t it be a good reason to try to make it differently instead of just complaining about what I don’t agree with? I think so.
I find it very difficult nowadays to find a teenager interested in politics. I can guess why. Every dinner they hear their parents complaining to the TV as if the prime-minister (let’s say) could hear them that way. “These politicians are all the same”, “I can’t believe someone voted for this clown” and “We are all doomed with these people in control of our country”… I can hear it as well. But I also can ask myself “What would I do differently in their position?”, “What is my opinion about this topic?”, “How can I make my voice heard, instead of screaming towards the TV?”. My answer was: Instead of seeing political parties as something distant and external to me, I will see them as the platform to make my voice heard and my opinion count.
Sometimes I think I am just a dreamer – a “good girl” who wants to play someone’s else game without understanding the rules – but when that happens, I like to think that some of most influential people in the world were also called “dreamers” at some point in their lives. So I will keep on trying to making “this world a better place”, in volunteer work, in associations and social projects, and, yes, in politics.