Over the years I've probably been to a dozen different rallies, marches and sit-ins. That's not counting all my organizing activity with Occupy Oakland's non-violence caucus, which often was done in meetings, not marches.
One bit of clarity I've come to as I consider my role in responding to a concerted effort to normalize authoritarianism in my country is that my days of "showing up to be counted" are over.
I don't think it was ever really me. Not only am I an introvert by energetic nature, but I also have a social anxiety disorder that was exacerbated by being in Manhattan at 9/11/01. (Oddly enough, I actually dreamed about that attack and its aftermath the night before. In fact, just a week prior I also asked my row mate on a plane flying over Manhattan why they let the planes fly over the city and didn't they worry about the planes flying into the buildings.)
Regardless of why, the reality is, that's not my jam. But I do have one.
To me it isn't a question of whether we will play a role in this human social evolution experiment, but simply what role we choose to play.
My protest now takes less confrontational forms, like donating to organizations and candidates who pursue my intentions for me, writing in a way that hopefully motivates and instructs others productively, and living as an example of the world I want. There is a significant component of that last piece that is about embodying the love, inner peace and balance that I hope to see in the world within my daily life and my relations with self and other. I believe I literally amplify the vibration of that way of life when I do so, and this is vitally important. There has to be something that we are for.
Ultimately, we each find our own ways, and no one can tell another what their way should be. I can only tell you that you must find your way, because to deny that you have a role to play when the future is being decided for your species (and this is indeed a global assault on life itself) is to live a lie.
And that lie does not go down softly. It sticks in your throat, backs up your digestion of all that is good, and slowly squeezes the life out of you.
Live your truth. It's your job to figure out what that is.
(Photo source: Pixabay)