When I started writing this article I wasn’t sure where it was going to lead. It has been minimally edited to more accurately reflect my train of thought.
I consider myself somebody who cares. I work full-time as a climate activist and engage in a broad range of progressive causes ‘after hours’ attending rallies, protests, talking with friends and family, and working on projects like ActivistLab.
But I find myself becoming numb to the never-ending stream of toxic decisions coming from the Trump Administration.
I know this is part of the Trump Administration’s strategy – wear us down, overwhelm our defenses, divide and conquer. And, at least on some level, it’s working.
Every week there’s a new crisis. Sometimes there are multiple. And it’s nearly a full-time job just to keep up with the thing I’m supposed to be outraged about each day.
This isn’t to diminish the overwhelming importance of any single issue. But I am beginning to recognize that this social-media fueled news cycle – and the campaigning that chases after it – isn’t sustainable. It isn’t leading to transformative change at the scale or speed we need.
Maybe it’s my fault for trying to pay attention to it all. Maybe I need to do a better job taking care of myself and choosing my battles wisely.
Or maybe there’s another way to look at this?
Maybe this is when we need to do a better job seeing this cacophony of injustice as one fight. One we are always going to be in together. One that isn’t going to end in four years or when ‘my issue’ is solved.
The progressive space is changing. There’s a growing movement emerging that is directly opposed to everything the Trump administration stands for and unapologetic in it’s support for transformative policies.
I’m not sure this movement has a name (or perhaps it has many), but it does seem to increasingly have a shape and a voice. Or, more specifically, thousands of voices.
This movement is made up of people tired of politics as usual. It’s made up of people who are ready to run for office rather than simply demand more from those in power. It’s made up of people who know that our communities are stronger when we invest in each other, take care of each other, and fight for each other. It’s made up of dreamers who don’t accept that this is the best we can do as a country.
And when I look at it like that, this moment we find ourselves in isn’t quite so overwhelming. The day to day onslaught of information and crisis and chaos is still too much to try and hold, but the bigger fight we’re all a part of seems far more inviting.
I’m beginning to realize I don’t need to take on the full weight of this burden because we’re in this together – and that it’s ok to step away from the unfolding crisis to enjoy life.
So here’s to viewing this fight not as a series of unthinkable and unmanageable crises, but as an ongoing collaboration and struggle towards justice – a creative process of building a better future together.
This doesn’t mean the remainder of the Trump Administration is going to be easy – and I’m still not sure how best to manage the fire hose of terribleness on my social media feed each day. But knowing I’m not in this alone and holding on to that helps keep me from feeling paralyzed.
I won’t be fighting every battle, but I will be fighting as many as I can. See you out there.