Initiates and guides action-
Or it does nothing.
This is one of the many verses in Lauren’s diary that represent her beliefs and religious views. Belief is an ongoing theme in the text that is shown in different variations and viewpoints. Specifically from the chapter in which this verse opens, many events occur to portray this idea.
Lauren lives in a gated community in which the sole purpose of the massive wall is a barrier to, and ultimately protection from the outside world. This belief from the community, that the wall is enough to protect them, is wrong. Lauren shows her disgust for the wall and how all it does is fill her with a sense of entrapment. She sees this as her community believing too much in the falseness of the wall, hiding from their fears and not taking actions to better themselves, to Lauren, this is just prolonging their end.
Lauren is very different than probably all of the other people in her community. Aside from her hyperempathy Lauren is very clear headed to what is actually going on around her and in the world and this in part comes from the Earthseed religion in which Lauren believes in. She sees how society is eventually going to collapse. Lauren doesn’t feel safe inside her own community walls and doesn’t see how herself or anyone else is going to amount to anything staying there and living the way they all are. The community is too afraid of change to better themselves, they rely on the faith of God too much, thinking he will cure the community. They should really be taking direct actions to change the community because ultimately, God is change. Lauren sees it as her end if she just stays put in this stagnant community where everyone believes its best to be at.
The first instance that really bothers Lauren is Amy Dunn’s murder. Not only does this bother Lauren but it also gets the other people in the community thinking. They are thinking, but not acting upon what they are thinking, just hoping for the best. Amy Dunn’s murder caused by bullets going through the bullet proof wall represents how nothing in life is guaranteed and how only change can be counted on in life. Lauren had her hopes and beliefs for amy. Lauren was putting in the time and effort towards the little girl but only Lauren’s attention could not save her, she needed her family at the least.
Lauren’s strong belief that something terrible is going to happen to the community, reinforced by Amy’s death causes her to have a strong desire to get out. She takes it upon herself to read varieties of books to learn about survival methods and how to live off the land. She has been keeping these ideas to herself because she is reluctant to how others will react to them. The first time she shares these ideas are with her best friend Joanne. Joanne completely disagrees and does not believe what Lauren is saying. Joanne feels as if the community is not as bad as what Lauren is making it out to be and that in time it will get better, yet she is making no actions to contribute to the bettering of the community. This correlates to the strong meaning behind the verse; you can have a belief but you need to take actions to help make your desires come true, you cant just sit around waiting. If you try, and the outcome you wish doesn’t come through, then you can at least have the satisfaction of knowing you attempted.
Joanne states how her mother hopes the new president will fix the society and take it back to normal. This is a bad way to think in Lauren’s eyes due to her belief of ongoing change. With consideration to Lauren’s religious views she is taken back by this statement. She doesn‘t believe in going back to the “good old days”. Earthseed is all about changing and that’s just what has happened to the world; it has changed. There is no such thing as a “normal” to Lauren, everything is change, and need to live with open eyes and fresh views or else you hit a road block in living life to the fullest. Lauren tries to change Joanne’s view of the fate of their community by suggesting to read books to aquire new knowledge and Joanne is leery stating “Books aren’t going to save us.” Lauren replies with “Nothing is going to save us. If we don’t save ourselves, we’re dead. Now use your imagination” (59). This is synonymous to the opening verse.
Joanne criticizes Lauren in saying that Lauren can’t see the future but Lauren defends herself and says she can because she is able to set aside her fears. That she is able to recognize what’s happening in the world, thus, having the capabilities to foresee what is going to eventually happen to her society. “I want you to be serious. I realize I don’t know very much. None of us knows very much. But we can all learn more. Then we can teach one another. We can stop denying reality or hoping it will go away by magic” (58). Lauren believes so much in taking actions to make change that is needed that she is able to communicate to Joanne’s closed mindedness with the previous statement and the statement of “Lets kill ourselves now and be done with it”, because without some change, that’s all they are doomed for anyways (57).