#RavsRadar: Don't Let Trump Turn You Into A Directionless Heap Of Despair

You're going to need patience, and probably a singular focus.

You're going to need patience, and probably a singular focus.

In my not so distant past I was a Washington, D.C., resident who worked at an advocacy organization that dealt with public health issues. Because Washington, D.C., doesn’t have voting representation in Congress, I had no way to personally influence Congressional action. You can’t appeal to senators and representatives who don’t exist. (Is this fair to residents of Washington, D.C.? Fuck no, but that’s another rant for another day.) 

So during those years, the only issue I focused on was public health. My organization was able to effect change in a way that I couldn't as an individual.

I did what I could, and set aside everything I couldn’t, and refused to feel bad about my situation.

I’m telling you that story so that I can share this lesson with you: you can’t solve all the problems that will arise in the age of Trump. You will drive yourself mad if you try. You will grow frustrated and tired and lose energy and momentum. You can’t do it all, and you shouldn’t expect yourself to do it all. It is enough to do one thing at a time.

The next few months are going to feel like drinking from a firehose of bad political news. Just today, my email is pinging away with alerts about all the executive orders that Trump seems to have signed expressly to make me, Rebekah Kuschmider, lose my mind. I keep feeling jolts of adrenaline, and I reach for my phone to email or call or Tweet or SOMETHING to release my endless rage. 

But I also feel a creeping despair, and I want to lie down on my floor and cry.

I can't do it all. So I have to choose one thing and focus on that, just as I did in my disenfranchised D.C. days. 

If you scanned through hashtag #WhyWeMarch over the weekend, you would see millions of different answers. You’d see some that share your top concerns and some that are far and away different from the things you care about. That mosaic of reasons for taking to the streets is our strength. There are enough of us that we can rest assured that someone else is doing the things we can’t do ourselves.

As you move forward in your activism, pick one thing and focus on that.

Make one thing your mission. Let other people choose other missions and trust that they will do their best as you are doing your best. You have their back, and they have your back. 

We are in this together. Be strong and take care of yourself.

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