The nature of our politics gives us plenty to fear.
If not for the sake of the policy decisions forthcoming in 2017 and beyond, then for the sake of a society that seems to be turning on itself, more intent on scapegoating whole groups of people than any kind of fact based analysis.
It’s a lot to digest, and that makes it difficult to know where to start.
But we MUST start.
Here is the advice friends and family, grappling with the same issues, all seem to arrive at after long, gut-wrenching discussions about the unknown, and what to do about it.
Choose A Handful of Causes
You will be overwhelmed by the number of stories and issues coming at you. It will be hard to tell fact from fiction. In some ways this is by design, in others, it’s the simple result of a non-stop flood of information.
You don’t have the mental or physical capacity to take on every issue that frustrates you. Instead, choose 2-3 causes that are deeply important to you and focus your efforts for maximal impact.
Connect with the organizations supporting these causes. Stay informed. Spread the word. Rally others to the cause.
Don’t get distracted or demoralized by the sheer amount of crazy coming at you.
Give Time, Expertise, Money
Every cause or issue has a reputable organization that will be more than happy to put your donations to good use. If you have the means, give.
Perhaps more importantly, look for ways to put your expertise to use in these particular areas.
You will be most effective doing the things you are already good at or using resources you already have access to, in support of the issues that matter most to you. Use your voice, your expertise, your skills, your time, and your energy.
Figure out where your efforts will make the biggest difference. Again, CHOOSE where you can make the biggest impact!
Your efforts will only be as effective as your ability to maintain them for the long haul. If necessary, favor small, consistent, initiatives that you can stick with rather than large, complex, one-time efforts.
Don’t underestimate the collective impact of your work. Smart, consistent efforts over time, along with those of millions of like-minded people is the key to standing up for what you believe in.
Resist overextending yourself.