Any activism you choose makes for a lonely life. Even when you have the support of wonderful family and friends, it’s lonely. An activist feels as if they’re alone in their quest to make the world a better place.
The heart-wrenching tears you experience that never comes to the fore never falls from your eyes because you have to continue. There is work to be done.
The indescribable pain when someone is hurting can be compared to slicing open wounds with a butter knife. It’s raw, it’s painful, it hurts and often that hurt gets neatly packaged until you find time to deal with it. You dance, you meditate, you listen to music, watch movies or simply lie back and connect with the earth.
Not now though.
Sometime in the future when things are better because if you dealt with it now, who knows when it will stop?
Constant injustice, oppression, violence can be equated to you frolicking in the waves and unknowingly going deeper until a giant wave knocks you down, and just as you manage to get to your knees to pull yourself up, several waves knock the stuffing out of you.
The fear of drowning is close by and no rescue is in sight. You manage to survive those waves and walk home exhausted but exhilarated because just for a moment while you were out there, all was right with the world.
That one infinitesimal moment, that often isn’t felt is so fleeting, and in a flash, it’s gone and you get up and start again and give yourself a talking to, a motivational chat that makes you feel stronger than ever.
It is a lie though, you’re not stronger because the pain others feel is like holding up kryptonite to your Superman. It weakens you for a while, but a while is all you have to make a difference.
Activism is made up of moments because quite simply we can’t save the world so your world narrows down until you’re at least saving those within your vision and circle.
Then one day you walk or find yourself at a place and some unlikely person strikes up a conversation with you and you don’t remember them, but they remember you. They thank you for helping them in their moment of need and you have to scratch deep into the recesses of your mind to recall because there’s been so many. Too many to count but it was never about counting anyway. Your heart that resembled an empty bucket in a drought suddenly fills up as if there’s a cloudburst and you grow stronger hearing their story.
You are ready for another day.
It was always about helping rather than harming. It was about setting them on a path to healing while you in the process of helping them, heal some brokenness inside yourself you never knew existed.
The world is cruel and harsh and often unfeeling but there is also joy and love and caring and you have trained yourself to care.
And as you ask yourself why you do it, the answer lies in your heart. You do it because you have the ability, the strength, and the compassion but mostly because you understand what it was like to suffer and it’s the reminder of the pain that compels you to try and prevent another person from feeling what you did.
But for these activists, there would be very little reason to love the selfishness, greed, and hate that consumes our world.
Our world has righted itself again. The good being spread is being paid forward and you breathe, you sigh, you look up and you give thanks to the universe that darkness has lost.
So, you win again.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.