Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thoughts for Budding Advocates

I've been around advocacy for a while-long enough that I'm baffled that people don't know what neurodiversity is & can't believe that people don't know why r*tarded is offensive, but not so long that I really expect to be 'known'. I've been called a firecracker, a force of nature, & the irresistible force meeting an immovable object-those are my qualifications to write on the matter.

This is directed at those of you who are just finding a passion & something worth speaking out about.

Know that it isn't always easy. Know that it gets harder before it gets easier, & that's not necessarily change, but you getting used to the work.

Know that people tend to hold to their prejudices. They may not take kindly to their behavior being called out. It's up to you whether or not that's a part of the battle you wish to take on-I do, but I'm not going to think less of you if it's not something you're taking on at this time. Do what you can do, y'know?

Know that as you get involved in causes-particularly social justice sorts of causes-you'll pick up on more things as unjust. You can try to save the world, but you'll burn out. We all do what we can, right?

Don't be afraid to get angry. Effective activism and polite activism are mutually exclusive. Harness your anger for what you are trying to accomplish. It's ok to offend people sometimes--they can't be offended if they aren't listening.

If you need to take a break, do it. This isn't always an easy thing, activism. That's why it's best to do what you really mean, what you really believe in.

Other people are fighting your fight too. They're your allies. They may not be your friends, but they are on your side.

Good luck changing the world, even a little.

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