I’m not sure if this comes from a TEDtalk by Alexis Ohanian, but he said it in 2012 or so.
In the last few weeks, and really every time one more nutty thing happens at the top rungs of the USA government, I’ve seen more and more people shrug or throw up their hands or just say, “Whatever.” And I get it. I really, really do. Self-care comes in all forms.
When it seems like some people get to do whatever they want and blurt out whatever falsehoods they like with few or no consequences, it’s tough to keep caring about nuance and seemingly sisyphean tasks. And that seeps into caring about the bigger issues. Even the issues that will affect us all for more than a generation. When news tornados include horrifying, eye-rolling, and then mundane issues, the thing we must most resist is apathy.
My favorite at Women’s March 2016
Apathy is a luxury, a privilege. And many of us have no right to escape into it. That doesn’t mean you don’t take breaks. Do that too. But then come back.
We are in this together. I am holding your hand, and I need you to hold mine. (It’s okay if it’s virtual hand holding. Especially during cold and flu season.)
So how do we keep resisting and persisting and keeping on when there are stubborn and painful fires that need squelching all around us? Often, when I need inspiration, I turn to art and quotations from people I admire. Here are a few I like to keep close by.
Together We Rise by Sousa & Machado
Bad Feminist inspired by Roxane Gay
You’ll be criticized anyway from Eleanor Roosevelt
And hey, even if you feel like no one is there to hold your hand, and even if you feel like you’re a bad feminist and a bad activist and a bad human being, and even if the criticism you thought you were ready for hurts and makes you want to give up, know this: You Are Not Alone. There are many of us here with you, trying and failing, getting up and trying again, feeling tired and despondent, hoping for support and then feeling unsure if support is wanted. Even if we don’t agree on every detail of policy and what is good and bad and how to live a worthy life, we can still support one another.
You are loved. You are appreciated. You are needed. You are loved.