“When the going get tough,” except I am not tough. I am fragile. I break down over a missed or late bus. I cry in great, heaving sobs if there is too much noise in a waiting room. Despite my tough girl persona on social media I loathe conflict, knowing each argument, each raised voice, each stabbing finger puts me that much closer to a quivering heap in the fetal position on the floor. Whatever the farthest thing from tough is, that is me.
Despite that, or hell, maybe because of it, I cannot sit by as the forces that threaten so many lives gain footing and push us to the brink of destruction: ecological, economic and social. I have little to offer. I type more words than average. My painting skills are sub par, but sufficient for sign making. I failed scissors in kindergarten, but I do OK with folding, an important skill when helping put together booklets. I absolutely disdain being in the thick of it, but for the sake of others, and myself, I will do it. I will add my voice to theirs, whenever they will have it.
Because the cliché is true, we are stronger together. Yes the world is full of bullies, and our culture, despite the myth we have built it around, has long encouraged us to acquiesce to them. More of us, though, are waking up to the fact that we do not have to. More people are standing up. Workers who thought they just had to take it because they thought no one cared are learning they are not alone. Those that thought they could not make a difference, like cab drivers in NY who stood in solidarity with those targeted by the President’s ban on their countries, are figuring out they have far more power than they thought.
If they can do it, so can you. I look out at social media, and the news, and more of you than ever are getting this. That is amazing. What we have done already, getting the numbers out that we have is in itself an accomplishment worth celebrating. We need more though. More work, more organizing and just plain more numbers. Yes it is scary, I know that better than most. I have had friends arrested and I may be myself at any one of these events, a problematic situation for anyone, even more so if you are mentally ill and trans.
Give yourself the credit you deserve by being willing to be vulnerable and strong at the same time alongside the rest of us. The louder and stronger we get, the weaker they will both seem and be. The Donald Trump’s of our society have already shown us how unwilling they are to suffer for what they allegedly believe in. As fragile as I am, as fragile as I am sure so many of you believe you are, they shatter that much the easier. Do yourself and your society a favor, get on Google and find who is organizing near you, and join them. After that first step, that first meeting, it is so much easier from there. You will thank yourself and win us all a better world in the process.