Making a Plan to Get Involved
This is the end of our four-part series on showing up for the injustices that break your heart.
We began this series talking about how often we feel overwhelmed, and how that feeling of overwhelm can keep us from showing up at all, which is the worst thing.
Next we discussed how the first step is the most important step and it's one that many skip, . . . education. We went over how education is the most powerful thing that we can do, especially if we are not the people directly experiencing the injustice.
Then the third episode was about the importance of practicing self-care and rejuvenation. If not, you will get worn out emotionally, physically, mentally, etc. which will make you less effective in helping the cause, as well negatively impact every other area of your life.
In this final segment, we're wrapping it all up and making a plan. Making a plan for how we can put all this together, how we can actually take steps in the ways we want to.
#1 List the top five injustices (or causes) that are breaking your heart.
#2 Put a number between 1 and 5 beside each one to rank them based on how passionate you are about each one. 1 being the most passionate and 5 being the least. Everything on the list is important, but you're just indicating which one you feel the stronger towards at this moment in your life.
#3 Beside the ones you ranked 4 and 5, put the word "LATER." Beside the ones you ranked 2 and 3, put the word "EDUCATION." Beside #1, put "EDUCATION & ACTION."
We're trying to find ways that you can be involved at a rate and amount that doesn't overwhelm you, while also being true to your heart and taking action.
Numbers 4 and 5 you'll focus on in another season in life, because if you pour yourself into all the areas that break your heart, you won't go very far in being helpful in any area, and you'll feel overwhelmed. So leave number four and five off for another day.
For numbers 2 and 3, spend some time educating yourself on them. When you start to educate yourself, you'll see how important education is, and you'll be able to contribute some in conversations with others. You can even educate some other people in the moment.
Educate yourself to the point where you know these aspects about the injustice:
WHO are the players? Who are the people being oppressed. Or if it is something like environmentalism, the it could be animals, water, ozone layet, etc. Whomever or whatever is suffering because of this injustice. Then also identify the oppressors; the ones that are benefiting from the harm being caused.
WHERE? Where is this taking place? For example, some people may think that human trafficking only takes place in sketchy places, but never in places like an elite country club community. But that isn't true. It can take place anywhere. I was at a luncheon where I learned someone living in the wealthiest community in the city I live in was running a large ring of human trafficking.
WHAT are all the layers of the injustice? What are the different forms the harm is done? Educating yourself enough to know the main driving factors. How does it take place? What the oppression really is about?
HOW? How is this continuing to prevail? What are the things enabling the injustice to continue? On the flip-side, how are some people making positive change to fight against the injustice?
If you can answer those questions, you will have so much knowledge that can really make a difference. You'll be able to step into some conversations and correct some false thinking.
Once you can answer those questions for topics you numbered 2 and 3, you are done focusing on them for this season of life. To accomplish this, you may decide to take next weekend to educate yourself on issue #3, and then focus on issue #2 the weekend after it.
Whatever the timing, just make a plan. You could even ask a friend to join in so you can learn together, and have discussions about it.
The #1 Issue on Your Heart
You will start off the same way as 2 and 3 by educating yourself, but you're going to go much deeper in your education. You'll want to read books, watch documentaries, take a class. There are many options to choose from as to how you can become well educated.
This education won't be a sprint like 2 and 3, instead, it is more of a marathon. You'll want to learn at a pace that is consistent but also isn't overwhelming. Again, just make a plan so that it will happen. Perhaps you want to read one book a month about it.
Your education will also include finding out who some people who are already leading the charge in fighting against the injustice. One of the great things about social media right now is you can find all these people who have already been in the fight that you're seeking to get in, and you can find out ways that you can help.
Then take action. Get involved in ways that are most aligned for you. Financially, volunteering, spreading awareness, etc. There are so many ways you can play a part, and you'll find out what those options are as you educate yourself.
Remember, no one is asking you to be the hero. Do what you can with what you have, and at a pace that allows you to stay in the fight.
Revisit from Time to Time
Then go through this whole process again when you sense it is time to either shift your focus, or time to add on another injustice to actively invest in.
All of these steps are just to give you a starting framework tp step into being involved without becoming overwhelmed. You'll learn what is best for you in regards to what to focus on, what education to seek, etc.
You may decide to just have that #1 issue be your forever main focus, and then every once in awhile you educate yourself a little bit about other injustices.
It will look different for everyone. This is just a starting place to help you get some footwork to start stepping in. Now, let's all get to work to make this world a better place. You got this!