Spread Your Anger Like Soft Butter Over Warm Bread
2020 has been undoubtedly and completely fucked. Don’t get me wrong, things before 2020 were fucked, too, but it just seems so much more prominent this year. Everything is bad all the time and nothing ever seems to get better. There are so many issues to be angry about. There are so many topics that deserve your attention. And yet, it’s exhausting to care about so many things, especially when it feels like you can do nothing about what’s happening.
I understand that people just naturally care about a certain handful of issues, or one specific issue, more than all the rest. Like, maybe you care a lot about the BLM movement, but not so much about the rain-forest being destroyed. Maybe you care a lot about homelessness, but not so much about mask/face-covering laws and whatnot. It’s okay to put the focus of your attention towards the things you care about, I totally get that.
For someone that lives in Flint, maybe the issue they care about the most is getting clean water to their community. If you live in California, maybe your focus is on wildfires. It is totally valid to be more concerned about your community than one across the country — even if, ideally, you should care about both. It doesn’t have to be an equal amount of focus you put towards the issues, but you should at least care a smidge about the other.
Let’s say there are multiple buildings on fire at the same time. It’s possible that one fire is much larger than the others and should be focused on a little more, or maybe the contents inside the building are somewhat more important that the others’, but the other fires should not be ignored entirely. This is basically a metaphor to the fact the world is constantly on fire (sometimes literally), and there’s a lot to focus on.
So now that it’s been established it is okay to care a little more about certain topics than others, it’s important to address something I’ve been seeing a lot lately, which is people posting things like “this topic is more important than all the other issues in the world right now” or “this is the only topic that matters to me and if you don’t agree then you’re wrong.” This is mostly in regards to BLM vs human trafficking vs Corona. All major issues. All deserving of attention. And like I said, it’s okay to care about one more than the other two, or care about two of them over the remaining one. But I don’t understand why people are claiming that the one thing they care about is the only issue that should be cared about, or that anyone who disagrees is fundamentally wrong.
Why would you tell people the issue they care about doesn’t matter? Why would you invalidate someone’s concerns about the world you both live in? Just because they pick a different fight than you, doesn’t mean their fight isn’t important. We need people to fight all kinds of fights, to protest all sorts of different issues, to donate to a variety of charities. There are so many issues in the world, and I understand the feeling that your chosen fight feels like the most important battle. But not everyone can fight it. There are other issues that need to be focused on simultaneously, apart from yours.
To claim your issue is the only one that matters is selfish, and ignorant. You are choosing to be blind to the strife and suffering of others. You are pretending their problems don’t exist. When you say human trafficking is the only current issue that matters, you are essentially diminishing the entire black community, and everything they fight for. When you say that the post office dilemma is the most important thing happening right now, you’re completely forgetting about all the people in cages at the border. And so on.
(On the other hand, none of these issues really matter in the long run if global warming keeps getting worse and we all burn alive. See? There’s A LOT to be angry about!)
It’s exhausting to be continuously angry at the world. There’s so much wrong and everything feels hopeless constantly. It’s tiring. I know it is. Which is why it’s important to care about yourself, and your well-being. Absorbing so much of the shit show that is the world can be difficult, and take a toll on your mental health. It’s important to focus on yourself sometimes, rather than the giant, colossal, unyielding issues the world has to offer. So please, amidst all this protesting, donating, raising awareness, and other forms of activism, make sure to take care of yourself in the process.