Hi friends, family, people I love. What is happening in our country is as scary as it looks. It is real and it is building every day. If you have fears, they are spot on. If you are incredibly concerned, that’s accurate. If you feel angry, rage-full, and heartbroken, then you are paying attention. This is how we should feel and we should be processing our grief and anger deeply and personally. We should be leaning on one another and talking to one another and comforting one another and doing some badass self care.
And also. I need you to stop saying that you don’t know what to do.
Let me explain. First of all, there is so much you can do. So much! Just look around. Get on facebook, google, ask your friends, read the news. Find out where the action is happening and loop yourself in. Or run for office. Or help someone else amazing run for office. As Andrew Harvey says, pick the issue that makes you most angry or breaks your heart the most. Then get on google and find out which organizations or candidates or groups are taking action on the things you care about. Join them, volunteer for them, work for them, get educated by them, bring your skills to them, give them money.
I have a good friend who recently quit a very high paying desk job to become a political organizer for an LGBTQ activist organization. I have an acquaintance who rearranged her life so she could be a Spanish translator at the border for the kids and families living in cages built by our government. I have another friend who is feverishly writing books that ignite women into action. I have another friend who is way too busy finishing up a PhD, but supports the hell out of me and is a huge cheerleader for all those in her life who are on the front lines. I have other friends who are protesting with the Poor People’s Campaign (some who bring their children in carriers on their backs), some who chose to get arrested in acts of civil disobedience and others who have to go to work later, so they step back when asked by police. And then there are the volunteers for progressive candidates for the November election who are building grassroots movements to challenge the horrors that are coming from our country’s leadership.
If you are already doing what you can, like these badasses I referred to, THANK YOU! I need you to take a breath and know that you are playing your part. Seriously, do that now. Know this in your heart. You are filling in the space made for you and the world is better for it. Your work is like sap on a tree that’s filling in the cracks. I need you to know you are doing enough.
And for those of you who (might) show up at a protest but the rest of the time your life is the same as it has always been, I need you to wake up. And I need you to do it now. Or at the very least, I need you to stop telling me that you don’t know what to do because it’s really easy to find out and it’s really easy to get involved. There are amazing people doing amazing things in communities everywhere and they need help. Trust me, I'm always super surprised there aren't more people at the volunteer events I go to and organizations I work with. Saying you don't know what to do can also sound offensive to those people, some who have much fewer advantages, who are working really hard every day on many different issues (and have been doing so for a very long time).
AND. If you can’t get involved, which of course there are valid reasons for that, then be like my PhD friend and be the best cheerleader around.
When every single person plays their part, we can make a difference. There are actually more of us!! But if a percentage of the majority just continue on, not wanting to disrupt their lives, leaving the burden of the work to a smaller group of people sweating their asses off to protect people and the environment, then we have a bigger problem than simply the evils of the other side. Do not assume that “they” are going to figure it out or that November will solve our problems magically. Who are “they” and how do problems get solved? “They” are YOU and ME and problems get solved because we implement solutions.
I, frankly, am stunned that any of us are doing anything remotely normal right now. Under the current circumstances, normal days concern me. So let’s respond to this very abnormal stuff that’s happening by letting our days be less normal too. Take care of yourself, get boosts from time with friends and family, ground yourself every morning and every night. And then please for the love of Goddess get involved because this ship is heading straight for the iceberg.
"If what you are doing requires no sacrifice at all, then you can do more. If you are one of these folks who is watching cable news at your cocktail parties with your friends and you are saying 'civilization is collapsing' and you are nervous and worried, but that is not where you are putting all your time, energy and money, then either you don't actually think civilization is collapsing ... or you are not pushing yourself hard enough and I would push harder.” -Barack Obama
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