Focus on the causes not the symptoms. Treat the symptoms all day long. They will continue to haunt you as long as the causes of the symptoms persist.
This is what I think about whenever my 4-year old blows my mind. When I see her being in total charge on a dance floor at her cousin's wedding, telling her family members (and also strangers) to spin and hop and jump - she doesn't care what people think and feels 100% comfortable commanding to create the fun she wants to experience. When I see her say "hello!" to anyone and everyone she sees on her afternoon walk - color, age, size, or gender doesn’t matter to her and she wants to be friendly to everyone. When I see her full of compassion for people with any pain or discomfort and desire to take care of them, no matter their age.
What can I do to help her to continue to be bold, not losing the confidence and compassion she has now? Not putting herself in any confined box. Not limiting or doubting herself based on the norms and expectations of the society. Not becoming a victim of such persistent biases and prejudice. I think about these hard, every day.
I can tell her to be bold and confident all day long when she shows signs of otherwise. But that’s equivalent to “treating symptoms” rather than going to the root causes. Creating the environment in our household where she can grow her confidence, learn to treat everyone with respect, and have compassion for others is one thing. If she constantly faces injustice and inequality the moment she steps out of our home, “treating symptoms” alone is simply not enough.
So, I give a damn. I spend a lot of my waking moments thinking about ways to contribute. Ways to make the world a better place. Even though the things I can do might create the smallest impact possible, that’s still a step forward.
So, if not for anything else, I give a damn for my daughter’s sake. For the beautiful human that I love more than life itself.