Finding Your Voice Amongst the Uprisings
How to apply your individual skills towards the collective better.
We’re currently alive in a time that’s increasingly defined by questioning, unrest, and a great social and political awakening. After years spent silent (or overwhelmed by the number of avenues through which to tap into social justice), many of us are finally coming together and following the lead of thinkers and activists who are seeking to make necessary changes to society and its norms.
Excitingly, those changes are accompanied by options. Endless options that work to expand our consciousness, elevate our social awareness, and help pivot this specific moment into a permanent movement. It’s an exciting time to be engaged and elevate our train of thought, re-focusing our energy into the understanding that the collective well-being of our community will lead to a more evolved individual conscience.
“It’s an exciting time to re-focus our energy into the understanding that the collective well-being of our community will lead to a more evolved individual conscience”
To start, consider your gifts. Your talents, passions, line of work, and what brings you joy can all be manifested into making an impact, particularly since each is accompanied by your enthusiasm and what makes you tick. Then, figure out where they might fit. Are you artistic? You can paint protest signs for yourself, your friends, or for anybody who needs one, thereby helping to ensure that the community’s message remains strong. Do you thrive amidst fashion? Why not design tote bags and t-shirts and ensure profits go directly back into the community you’re helping to elevate and support. Food? Drink? Hospitality? Never discount the value in ensuring a community is nourished, especially on warm days where access to cold drinks and snacks is limited. Do you feel your best when you’re giving back? Buy the books, art, and music from those you’re seeking to rally behind.
Perhaps you find your joy in organizing; in connecting like minds to help build a foundation for bigger discussions and more detailed plans. Lest we forget that not every form of action involves overt protest: sometimes, creating a space in which conversation can thrive can spark new extensions of action and lead to even more exciting opportunities. Perhaps your knowledge of a particular field (whether it be business, self-care or fitness – or whatever you’re well-versed in) can lend itself to inviting members of a specific community to drop in, relax, and feel safe in a communal or borrowed space. Perhaps you can tap into your fitness and well-being community to work together and offer free classes for those who may not have a gym membership, with focus on breathing and meditation. Maybe you and the members of your industry can use your skills as a means of raising money for more protests, bail money, lawyer’s fees, or even for meals, clothes, and products requested by shelters.
“Creating a space in which conversation can thrive can spark new extensions of action”
Or maybe you’re less of a conversationalist than you are a listener, and your gift allows for you to pay attention to what’s needed most, record it, and encourage your friends to share what you’ve learned.
Especially since listening is an action unto itself. With so many options available, listening ensures that quieter or marginalized voices are truly heard. And when someone is heard, we’re all given the chance to honour their needs and to serve as better allies since we’re not competing for space. Which is an important thing to remember: to take action and to help isn’t a competition. We are in this together, and will always make more of an impact if we’re unified and lifting each other up. For those in a position of privilege, this also means that action looks like taking stock of your workplace to ensure your coworkers are being treated and represented fairly, and if they’re not, raising those concerns.
“When someone is heard, we’re all given the chance to honour their needs and to serve as better allies”
Because the truth is, as long as we act genuinely and authentically, we’ll find ways of parlaying our thoughts and feelings into action. Yes, the options are limitless and may sometimes seem daunting. But provided you begin with your own strengths and work outwards from there, you will inevitably find yourself ensuring the community you’re a part of is even stronger. And with strength like that, it’s impossible not to make a difference.
Photo courtesy of Tvbeats.
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