The old Zen proverb.
Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
Turns out enlightenment and the fascist apocalypse have that much in common.Â And there’s a hell of a lot of wood that needs chopping now. There are a thousand ways to resist: protest, write to elected officials, support organizations doing this work already, educate yourself, take care of yourself, create despite the motherfuckers. There are a thousand issues to work on: LGBTQ rights, immigration, dismantling white supremacy and the patriarchy, protecting the environment, reproductive rights, health care, election reform. There are a thousand organizations and people who desperately need your time, your energy, and your money.
I don’t know where to start. I don’t know what’s the most important. I don’t know what actions are the most useful. But I do know that not doing anything is not going to be effective.
So what I’m going to do is: look for one small thing I can do each day, within my geographical, budgetary, and other limits. I’ll post about it here, and you can join me; or you can tell me what action you took today. I believe in the power of tiny steps. Let’s take some. Let’s take some tiny steps together.
With Hope in the Dark, Rebecca Solnit makes a radical case for hope as a commitment to act in a world whose future remains uncertain and unknowable. Drawing on her decades of activism and a wide reading of environmental, cultural, and political history, Solnit argued that radicals have a long, neglected history of transformative victories, that the positive consequences of our acts are not always immediately seen, directly knowable, or even measurable, and that pessimism and despair rest on an unwarranted confidence about what is going to happen next.
Let’s get chopping.