February 1, 2017

My cousin, Hannah, is one of the most committed people I know. She is living a life based on deeply felt and well-reasoned principles. In her most recent blog post, “Protect What Is Sacred” (https://farmingforjustice.com/2017/01/30/protect-what-is-sacred/), she addresses what each of us can do during times like these that are terrifying and transformative. She says,

When taking actions, start by committing to one movement. They are all equally important. LGBTQ rights are just as important as protecting the environment. Comparing the worthiness of social movements is not helpful. There are millions of people working on projects to ensure more peace and justice to all. Pick one that you can fully show up to. Do not divert your energies too much as this can dilute your overall impact.

I agree wholeheartedly with this. I can already see, less than two weeks into the Trump presidency, most of my friends and loved ones feeling exhausted by the daily onslaught of disturbing news and the dozens of things they “should” be doing to resist the administration and the Republican-dominated Congress. On top of the sadness and rage that hound us throughout the day, we end up going to bed every night weighed down by an oppressive guilt that we haven’t done enough.

Hannah’s advice is spot-on: pick your path to resistance. What matters most to you? Where can you make the biggest difference? What arenas best coalesce your concerns, your talents, and your time? For me, it is education and interpretation. For Hannah, it might be the environment and grassroots action. For you it might be gender equality and reproductive rights. There are at least 65,844.954 people who aren’t thrilled with the outcome of the election, and probably more than that who aren’t thrilled with the start of this administration, so don’t feel like you need to do everything on your own. If we all commit to our passions, and to doing whatever we can to fight the dismantling of ways in which our passions contribute to the good of society, we will make a difference.

Before you completely burn yourself out trying to sign every petition and make every phone call, focus your attention. Then bring your best energy to the fight.