I think it’s safe to say that being in the activist sector - and even understanding the word “activist” itself - can be very overwhelming. There are so many causes to fight for that knowing exactly where to put your time, passion and energy can be a struggle. After the unfortunate passing of the legendary Ruth Bader Ginsberg (an activist for gender equality and women’s rights), her words of wisdom have filled our social media platforms, elegantly calling us to action with words such as:
‘Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you’. - Ruth Bader Ginsberg
The notorious RBG is right. We have to fight for the things that we truly care about - whether that be the planet, gender equality, clean water for all, rights for the LGBTQIA+ community, racial equality, or equal pay. As you probably know, the list goes on… and on and on and on.
It’s possible to truly care about all of these causes, and that’s a really good thing. However, we all only have twenty-four hours in a day; if we spent an hour on each of the things we want to change, we’d have no time for sleep, work, exercise, self-care and even laborious food shopping! We have to be realistic with our time and that’s why it is important to narrow down the cause(s) you truly want to fight for. Choosing one cause that you want to pour your time into will allow you to create more meaningful change than if you spread your efforts thinly amongst too many causes.
One way to figure out the ones for you is to determine what keeps you up at night. What makes your blood boil in a way some of the other causes don’t? What do you find yourself constantly reading about - whether that be on the news or simply social media accounts that you follow? What is the one thing you wish you could change in a heartbeat? That is the fight that truly has your heart.
The important thing to remember is that we don’t have to be giving our all to every cause. It might be tricky in this day and age, but we have to have faith that others will be at the forefront of the causes we aren’t. For example, you might decide that you want to focus on gender equality and hence spend your spare time going to marches, signing petitions or gaining more knowledge about that specific cause. As long as you use a reusable water bottle, reusable coffee cup and recycle, you’re still doing your part for the planet, you’re just not at the front of the battle and that’s ok. We’re only human, and as much as we’d like to, we can’t do it all. The most we can do is fight hard, and in the words of RBG, “do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”