My dad has had this quote in his office for as long as I can remember. His office is in my parent's house, which means that I subliminally ingested this saying at least once a day when I lived there. It's a knockoff of Woody Allen's quote, "eighty percent of success is showing up." The percentages seem arbitrary, but it's clear that the simple, consistent act of showing up is pretty important.
My parents are very consistent people. They showed up with support and encouragement when I was younger, and they continue to do so today. They have showed up for the students, mentees, inmates, and people who have been lucky enough to have them in their lives. I'm seeing now, as a parent, business owner, wife, and civilian how important it is to show up.
John Lewis showed up, time after time, to get beaten down and show up again. Ruth Bader Ginsburg showed up for women and other minorities. Obviously, both of these people went over and beyond just showing up, but it was their dogged determinedness that made the difference. It's one thing to do a good or brave deed, but it's entirely another to do a hundred of these deeds.
I've seen the value of consistency in my art work. Each day since June, I've made a small collage. Each day, I sit down and work on my color palettes, my placement of papers, and my personal vocabulary of shapes. Each day, I learn something and listen to what my work is saying to me. Maybe that's all we can do right now. Show up and vote. Show up and speak out against injustice. Show up for your spouse, friend, child, mother who's having a bad day and needs you to listen. Maybe being consistent is another way to cling to hope. If we show up again and again, we're still here. We're still trying.