some of us are good at writing
some of us are good at reading
some of us are artists
some of us are poets
some of us can interpret legalese
some of us are good at supporting our peers
some of us are organisers
some of us are leaders
some of us are good at uncovering news
some of us are good at passing news on to others
some of us are invaluable in the streets
some of us are work well within an office
some of us work best from home
some of us are most comfortable within virtual spaces
some of us don’t have a lot of time
some of us have to work long hours
some of us have others to support
some of us are physically disabled
some of us don’t happen to be neurotypical
some of us aren’t easily motivated
some of us don’t know all the right people
some of us don’t know where to start
some of us are invisible, others never can be
some of us had a “good” education, others didn’t
some of us are healthy, some never will be
there is no one way to do activism
we all have different advantages and limitations
we all have different things to contribute…
…and every contribution is equally important
the individual who does what they can, when they can
should be valued as much as any other activist.
Why should an ‘activist’ who makes no impact whatsoever be valued as much as one who makes a huge impact?
Conversely, why should an activist who makes a huge impact be valued as little as someone who makes no impact, or in fact makes the situation worse?
BronzeGame, do you mean valued or praised? All progressive activists are of great value, though the labours of some earn them greater praise than others. The point is that an hour’s effort is an hour’s effort, regardless of the means or the medium through which that effort is made. Some can contribute more hours effort than others, for which they are often held in high regard by their peers. It is impossible to work without effect, though the effect may be barely substantial. We praise the work of those who make the greatest difference but should we not value the work of all those who labour beside us?
It is also worth remembering the distinction between progressive activists and nutters.
And what is a huge impact?
Is it shouting from the streets?
Handing over a petition to the nations leader?
Is it Orginising a protest?
How about digging through a document, and reading the double meanings, and getting people to see the problems?
Finding statistics buried under buerocratic rubble?
Activism shouldn’t be elitist. Everyone should be able to do their part, and that part be recognised as helpful.
You’re missing the point! Should we recognize someone as helpful when what they achieve actually makes things worse? Why should we pretend someone who is unhelpful is helpful?
I have no problem with everybody being able to do their part, but we shouldn’t patronize people and pretend they are being useful when they are objectively not.
If you know someone who is being unhelpful then it falls to you to ensure that their scope to do so becomes limited.
you might also consider getting in touch with them, and trying to open a dialog, so unhelpfulness can maybe turned to helpfulness.
I entirely accept that some people are deeply unhelpful to any given cause (and sadly, I’ve met a good number of such people)…but that’s not what this entry was about. I’m not trying to say that we should value the useless or the regressive amongst us, but instead I was trying to address the way in which everyday individuals with certain limitations or responsibilities are often undervalued when they contribute what they can to a cause.