Activism Life

How Do I Restart a Fire?

April 14, 2017

If you’re following the news or have any form of social media, or step outside of your house, then you probably know what’s happened within the past week: Trump bombed Syria, United Airlines assaulted a doctor and forced him off a plane, Sheila Abdus-Salaam was found dead in the Hudson River, Betsy Devos rolled back student loan guidance, and just today, Trump bombed Afghanistan. And that’s just to name a few.

I have so many amazing friends and family members who read those stories and watched those interviews and heard the news and jumped into action. They posted on all forms of social media and called their representatives and wrote postcards and spoke up. And I grasped for straws in my attempt to even find the right words to say.

Confession: I don’t even know where to start. 

I pride myself in being level-headed and knowing exactly what to do and being well-educated about what’s happening in the news. But the last few weeks have hit me, and everyone else I’m assuming, really hard. And I’m still trying to figure out how to get back up.

I watched the video of Dr. Dao being violently dragged from his flight and I sobbed. I called Alex and I asked him what I could do, but as soon as he started suggesting things, I shut down. Nothing felt like it would be enough. I didn’t want to write postcards to senators or call my reps. I didn’t want to sign a petition or send an email. I wanted to fly to Chicago and burst into the police station and demand that those officers be fired. Why? Because as practical as I may be, civil disobedience has always been my way of fighting back.

In my right mind, I know that those actions listed above are so incredibly important, and when I can, I do them too. But I’m struggling with how to stand up and fight back when deep down, all I want is to curl up into a ball and cry, because the world is becoming a terrifying place.

In my (ongoing) fit of absolute horror, I found my way to Jennifer Hoffman’s website where she creates a Weekly Action Checklist for you to follow in order to take action against what’s happening. You should sign up for it here.

I’m floundering and trying and failing to climb back in the saddle and restart my own fire. But what keeps me going is remembering that I used to be so brave.

Let’s get Fired Up and Ready to Go…again.

Xo, Willa

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