I realize I've fallen prey to magical thinking, believing that if I fail to do X or Y activist thing, then the whole resistance will fall apart. It arises from erroneous logic that goes like this: "This situation is so bad it caused me to cancel plans with a friend to go protest. I'm not alone; other people feel that way too. That's why there are so many people protesting. But if I let up, then they will, too, since they're like me. So I have to prevent that from happening by not letting up."
But of course, my actions don't actually control other people's.1 I doubt I'm even a very good indicator of what other people will do, but if I were, my actions still wouldn't control other people's; they'd merely be predictive. And it's grandiose to assume that my action or inaction is going to spell the success or defeat of, for example, resistance to the executive order2 on refugees and incomers from those seven majority-Muslim countries. Maybe this exhortation is something that only I need, but I'll put it out there anyway: Do whatever stuff you do because you want to help change something that you find intolerable. *Don't* do it because your action magically controls the outcome. It doesn't.
1It's true that our actions can influence other people, so if you do something or refrain from something, it may ... pick your verb--cause/push/induce others to follow suit. But you're still not controlling them.
2I wasn't entirely clear on how executive orders work, so I read up on them (well, mainly I read one Washington Post article) and created a two-page summary of what I learned, which I can email anyone who'd like it.
ETA: Please read also what rachelmanija writes here.
- Current Music:Cloud Cult: The show starts now