The social justice issues in our world right now can seem overwhelming, with administrations firmly embracing white supremacy, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and more. History has shown that activism is a way to create change—but it can also be another factor in creating overwhelm.
From struggling and stressing about what problem we should work on, to burnout from trying to work on all the problems, activism can end up feeling like a drain on our (typically already-limited) resources. This increases exponentially for those who are in marginalized communities, especially when we are trying to advocate for our own rights.
There is an option. We can leave behind war-time advice about “choosing our battles” and instead choose to engage with activism on our own terms. We can, in fact, seek to transform our activism from an energy drain into a self-care practice. …
I guess that Jillian Michaels was desperate to get in the news again because she’s on Yahoo.com talking nonsense in a piece titled “Jillian Michaels warns of ‘glamorizing’ obesity: ‘We’re politically correct to the point of endangering people.”
She starts out well, giving (what turns out to be) lip service to the actual truth — that body diversity is normal and bullying and body shaming are not good for anyone’s health. She says:
Yes, we want to be inclusive of everyone [and respect that] everyone comes in all different shapes and sizes.”
Good, because that’s the only right thing to do. …
“Come quick—your volunteer is drunk and screaming.”
The text came in around 8 p.m. It was the end of a long day with only a few volunteers left on-site … what could go wrong at this point?
As a veteran volunteer manager, I know that no matter what kind of screening process you use, there will always be a dud or two in your volunteer team. But usually that means a volunteer who doesn’t smile while helping with reception, not a volunteer who is sloppy drunk and yelling.
A staff member had asked one of my volunteers—not knowing that he had been helping himself to the free champagne—to please let attendees at the reception know to make their way into the main auditorium for the evening talks. He cheerfully agreed, then turned around, took a deep breath and slur-screamed “THE TALKS ARE STARTING!” at the top of his liquor-soaked lungs. I almost hauled him off by his ear, grandma-style. …