Dear Person Too Tired to Fight,
I’ve been scolded for not marching with protesters. I’ve been talked to sternly for not standing up for my children’s futures. I’ve been told off for not being on the right soap box at the right time. And sometimes I’ve just plain felt guilty for not liking a Facebook post that someone I’m friends with is passionate about. Just like you.
And you know what? It’s all good. Yes, it stings to think I might not be doing my part to speak up for what I believe. But I am only one person. After conversations that leave me walking away with my tail between my legs, I frequently realize that I DO defend my beliefs. I do support my kids’ futures, and their presents. I am an activist in my own way, which may be different from someone else’s. And when all this washes over me again, I stand a little taller.
So, if you need to take a break from standing up against the waves of those who disagree on your stance on some hot-button topic…it’s all good. Someone else will step up to the front lines and you can back the cause from the sidelines. And that’s ok. You’ll get back up and at ‘em when you can.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve stepped back because you’re tired. It doesn’t matter if you feel beaten down. Take the time to care for yourself. Lift yourself up to be the most supportive of your pet causes as you can be. It’s also fine for you not to jump up in support of every cause. Our passions all lay in different avenues for many reasons. I stand up for sexual assault survivor support and education because I was raped and believe speaking out can support others and make a difference. That’s not everyone’s burden to bear, though. And it’s also all right for life’s path to lead away from direct action. Having children, physical or mental health issues, jobs, or simply busy schedules may keep you from protesting, writing letters to your Congressmen, or whatever other actions you might have taken in the past or want to take in the future. Any other reason you may have for needing to take a break is perfectly acceptable too. It is.
I’d also invite you to look at the things you might be able to recognize in yourself that can help you hold your head high too, knowing you do stand for something. Not all activism is blatant and loud. Sometimes, it can be a quiet hum. That can be you. You can pray. You can share posts on social media. You can wear clothing with a message. You can try to pass on your beliefs to your children. Your hands are not tied, even if you’re not chanting at the front of the pack.
I hope you feel better, now. I hope you’re not beating yourself up for taking a water break or even for watching from the stands. There’s a place for everyone to do their part…and you’re doing what you can, I know you are. Anyone whose upset by considering that they’re not doing enough is almost always doing more than they know.
Thank you for caring,