What does it mean to resist? To speak truth to bullshit? To be light in the darkness? What does that look like, every day, in actual life?
I think we’re all asking these questions. It’s easy to get “cause paralysis” these days, what with a meeting or protest or march or act of nonviolent resistance just about every weekend. Every week, sometimes every day, there is a new outrage screaming for our attention. In these months of heightened, emotionally charged politics, it’s easy to feel unsure where to take a stand, short of making a sign, traveling to a march, or joining a movement. That's good and necessary work, but it's not everyone's work.
For some of us, that’s exactly where we want to be and feel most useful. Resistance to power needs organization and movements. We need people marching. We need people protesting and chanting in the streets. We need people on the front lines, raising their voices and calling out injustice and speaking truth to power. We need community organizers. We need women running for office and people of color given fair and equitable representation in public spaces. People are standing up in courthouses and on street corners for wage equality and immigration reform and black lives and LGBTQIA+ rights and we need them there. We need that fire and volume and visibility and energy.
You know what else we need, though? We need people living out Resistance in their pedestrian, daily, ordinary lives.
And we also need bookkeepers. And artists. And scientists. And stay at home parents. And all the people who have no desire to join a march but will serve meals for the homeless every weekend. And storytellers who make us laugh at the things that scare us. And dads who will take their kids to the grocery store dressed as superheroes. And beauty for beauty’s sake. And music that transcends language, moving total strangers in a bar to tears. And introverts with stage fright who face their fears at open mics to tell their stories about love and loss and grief and recovery.
The world does not need you to be polite. The world does not need you to be well behaved. We need you to tell the truth, to take up your space, to own your courage, to be kind, to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves, to create beauty, and to love fiercely.
And we need you doing the thing that makes you feel alive, right where you are.
We need you to say “No” to the things that drain you so you can say “Yes” to the thing that lights you up. We need your depth, your soul, your best and most cared for self. That version of yourself who feels vital and electrified and vibrant, like she’s doing exactly what she was made to do. That’s the version of YOU the world needs. When people walk around illuminated by the vitality of their work in the world- and I do not mean vocation, I mean your life work- the darkness doesn't stand a chance. Anxiety and fear and worry cannot exist in the same space as that kind of brightness. They're crowded out.
You don’t have to make a sign or join a protest if speaking truth means, for you, that you read stories of brave women to your children every night. If you come to life on stage, go find one and tell the truth. If you feel lit up making spreadsheets, make the best damn spreadsheet we’ve ever seen.
Let your art, your life, your love, your work in the world be an act of daily resistance.