Sunday, September 19, 2021

Activism's in-between

So you feel something is very, very wrong in this country and society -- the climate turning more hostile; anti-vaxxers doing their best to prolong the pandemic; Republicans trying to trash democracy ... and whatever more immediate malaise has grabbed your heart.

Working to replace the Donald with Joe Biden gave activism some direction for awhile; working for Jon Ossoff and the Reverend Warnock in Georgia, even more. And while the pandemic refuses to go away, at least Gov. Gavin prevailed.

But now what -- how to engage in a world that needs everything, but no obvious, clear cut path seems on offer for this moment. You are tired. And worried.

You are not alone.

At Daily Kos, someone who uses the handle of "truemajority" offers some thoughtful suggestions for activists and all of us that seem worth passing on in this anxious in-between moment.
A lot of concern and a lot of desire to be of help is expressed by people who are standing on the sidelines because they aren’t sure what to do, or where to direct their energy. What is the best first step? Fortunately there is an area of activism anyone can do, that is always helpful and always important. You can start doing it today.

Find someone who needs a little support and encouragement, and give it to them. 
Did a name pop into your mind just now, reading that sentence? There’s always someone close at hand who fits the bill. Look around and it won’t take long to see a person plugging away behind the scenes who is not expecting any recognition, but who would receive it as gratefully as a tree in a drought welcomes a surprise summer shower. ... 
Appreciation makes invisible work visible.
Read about the great change agents of the past, some of whom worked for years or decades without seeing many results, and without anybody outside their immediate circle knowing who they were. Somehow they persevered, usually with far fewer resources than we have today, and managed to lay a solid foundation for progressive advances we currently enjoy. ... 
• It is better to do something than nothing.
While you’re waiting to launch your next big thing, or even flailing about trying to determine what your very next small step might be, consider starting a side project of intentional support to activists around you. You could even direct this powerful energy to yourself, by creating inspirational moments to start your own day. ...

 As always, we need to empower imagination and choose hope.

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