We are mobilized, and fired up. We are doing things tiny or grand, for the first time in a long time–as a people. We have been shaken out of complacency and endless drudging, against a system that feels too stuck to change.
We have essentially accepted that a significant portion of our country is stuck in the past, with regard to inclusion practices. (When I say inclusion, I mean inclusion of all people, including those stuck in the past. Always have, always will.) When a significant potion of our country is stuck in the past, it means that we are actually talking about the present.
Our country is still predominantly clutching to the belief that our individual needs for comfort and nationalism are more important than the needs of the greater good, and that’s fine. There are plenty of martyrs out there already (*guilty), and that’s fine too.
What’s not fine? I am watching people tear down humble efforts. People are writing about how those choosing to wear safety pins are “embarrassing themselves.” People are judging others for engaging in “useless social media rhetoric.” People are waving their hands at it and judging it as a hysteria of sorts.
Just so you know, all efforts count. If you make a decision, to engage and activate, and it is dismissed by another person, FORGE ON! If you are dabbling your toes in the water of activism for the first time, GET IN HERE! I welcome you, and the people who need your love, your voice, your safety pin, your rhetoric, your effort, welcome you.
And if you are kicked away, step back, and recognize that is about the other person’s inability to accept love, because that, my friends, is piece and parcel of being marginalized. Marginalized people were kicked out, long ago, and maybe several times, before they chose to build a wall around their softest parts.
So, give people space. Listen to their reasoning, to their words. Then keep on coming with it. You might start with a safety pin; you might start with rhetoric; you might start with ideological petitions, but keep looking, keep reading, keep talking, keep asking.
You will get to the good stuff, but not if you give up at the first wave of a hand that tells you your first humble efforts are not good enough. It will take a force of unimaginable magnitude to hold this dam, so push however you can.
And the minute you are ready, and you’ve overcome the worries about being judged, or have had your first taste of criticism, judgment, or efforts to constrain you, look to your communities. Look for the wounds, and apply salve. Look for the gaps in care, and apply your ingenuity. Great things are possible, humble beginnings are acceptable, and you can make a difference.