We fight oppression and we fight for rights, we fight the system and we fight ecocide, and we fight unethical corporations and we fight the journalists who won’t report what’s happening and then we get cross with each other on social media and fight each other over matters of privilege. We’re so in the habit of fighting that we hardly know when to stop. Places that should be collaborative become combative. But we keep fighting the good fight against all comers.
I start to wonder if the fighting, at least some of the time, isn’t part of the problem rather than a route to improving things. And yes, I know there’s more than a dash of white western privilege in that statement because fighting is a choice for me, not something I cannot avoid. This is also part of my point thought – fighting is an option, so why have I been choosing it?
Well, the obvious answer is because there are so many wrong things that need sorting out so I have to fight all that injustice and intolerance and all the rest of it. The theory makes sense, but in practice I do not see the results I’m looking for. If I fight someone, the odds are really good they will dig in and fight me back. The very act of fighting them becomes part of their story about why people like me should be silenced, shot, not allowed to vote etc etc. By fighting I am feeding the fight.
I’m really tired. This has led me to conclude that I just can’t afford to pour any more energy into fighting. I’ve been thinking about this one for a while. I’ve been thinking about it since I heard Seize the Day at Rainbow Druid Camp last year singing something along the lines of “I will not rest until all oppression is ended.” Not being allowed to rest is in and of itself a form of oppression, and it will break your body and your mind far sooner than it will destroy oppression.
I’m changing my approach. I’m focusing on things I can usefully do – in my life, for the people around me. Comedy and kindness are becoming my revolutionary strategies of preference. Giving things away, buying from small producers, where I can. Helping. Living the way I want the world to be, in order to contribute to that being more feasible. I don’t want to live in a world where we spend much of our time shouting at each other and fighting each other, so I’m going to stop putting energy into that.