Your skills for democratic resistance
Find what you can do to support American democracy. How? Take a look at yourself. You are an adult with skills. You are great at something that you like to do. That’s your starting point for resistance.
What are you great at?
Creating order from chaos — Can you help set up databases? Can you help create more secure networks of communication? Can you organize a large group of people? Can you research? Can you do marketing for people teaching classes or holding meetings?
Creating harmony – Can you host supportive events? Can you find ways to nourish other people? Can you organize nourishing events?
Expressing outrage – Writing, demonstrating.
Doing tasks with your hands – Making signs, making T-shirts, making hats. Repairing office equipment, setting up event sites, creating portable sound systems.
Making beauty (art, music, dance) – can you add your art to gatherings to support other people? Donate your art to raise funds?
Seeing your effort make other people happy – nurturing roles that underpin events include providing food and materials. Being a supportive listener, offering help with any number of tasks that friends do for friends will help sustain the resistance.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Introvert vs. extrovert: These terms are running around popular psychology. They are not the same as “shy” and “outgoing.” Here’s how you figure out which you are.
Used correctly, the terms separate people who draw energy from doing things alone from people who draw energy from doing things with other people.
An introvert may enjoy a party — and be very social – but then be very drained by the effort. An extrovert at a party will be invigorated by the crush of people.
Introverts are not all reserved. Extroverts are not all talkative. Knowing what energizes you and what drains you will help you choose what action to add to your life that you can sustain.
How to make your resistance work sustainable for you
- Do not fight your natural inclinations. If you are most effective acting alone, find personal actions that support your goals. If you are most effective in groups, find groups that support your goals.
- Develop sources of quality information. Find information and thought leaders you trust. Spend your time on activities they recommend. This provides confidence that you are not spinning your wheels (more than necessary).
- Focus on what matters most to you. Take on projects that are dear to you. Prioritize your energies to make that happen. Add to other efforts less frequently, so that your work is done thoroughly. For example: focus on stopping pipelines, but attend the Pro-Science demonstration.
- Trust that others will be doing their part. America has become energized. If you put your all into your project, you are part of the solution. Others will be doing their projects with equal gusto.
- Get support to maintain balance. This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint.
If you are feeling guilty for not doing enough to support causes you care about, just stop it! Guilt gets you nowhere. Instead:
- Today, ask yourself “What am I good at?” “What do I enjoy doing?”
- Tomorrow, find something that is important to you and find something you are good at to do for that cause. You are part of the resistance.
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