Tragedy & Choice

Content Warning: Everything going on right now. On January 31, 2021, I wrote an essay entitled “5 Years Ago in Reno” in which I reminisced about my second-ever union organizing drive. In that essay, I explained that at one point during that campaign, helping the workers at a small rehab hospital in North Bay win their union, I worked “28 straight 14-hour days.” I wrote that I had “never worked so hard in my life” and that “a week prior [to my 28 14-hour-a-day sprint], I had crashed my car in pure exhaustion, falling drowsy at the wheel.” I wrote, … Continue reading Tragedy & Choice

Call to Action for Life

I’m in one of those moods: Life is yours to make it. As a kid growing up, you don’t get to choose how you start off. You don’t get to choose how much privilege you have; you don’t get to choose your family or your upbringing. But when you are an adult — whether you are comfortable or have gone through unimaginable pain — you realize that there are things that you can control and there are things that you cannot control. Focus on the things you can control. The world is oppressive, yes. That isn’t your fault. And still, … Continue reading Call to Action for Life

Don’t Confuse Apathy with Fulfillment

I feel like a big mistake that people in their 20’s make — and I’m certainly no exception — is confusing apathy for happiness/fulfillment. You see it everywhere, and it makes sense, because on the outside, apathy and inner spiritual fulfillment can look a lot alike. It’s this strange idea that “if I am comfortable and full just in my own skin, then I don’t need anything extra, and I don’t need to do anything extra, to be happy.” And I think at a certain level, it’s sort of true. To be fulfilled, you *should* be able to be happy … Continue reading Don’t Confuse Apathy with Fulfillment

Life, Politics, & Sashimi

I had a profound experience earlier this morning at a sushi bar eating a variety of sashimi on a blue glass platter. Now, the profound experience wasn’t so much about the sashimi (or the blue glass platter, for that matter). But there was a TV on the wall in front of me, and on it, an old white man from the “Left” was talking about how Trump’s immigration views were informed by racism, and then another old white man from the “Right” was talking about how, no, it wasn’t racism, it was actually just about security, economic growth, and preserving the American culture. And they went on and on back and forth for a good 10 minutes, and they didn’t … Continue reading Life, Politics, & Sashimi

The Beauty of Union Organizing

For me, one of the best things about union organizing is getting to listen to dozens, hundreds, thousands of people’s life stories. And really, what are we but what we’ve done, what we’ve been through, and our values, our beliefs, and our feelings about all of life’s Stuff. Being a union organizer is getting to be — way more than full time — an explorer of humanity, and your job is to find some way to connect as deeply as possible with as many people as possible. Wow, how beautiful. Continue reading The Beauty of Union Organizing