Very eloquently put – I suspect you’re voicing the sentiments of many of us.
by Holly Katsykestom – 18 November on FB …
“On Friday, the evening before I participated in “Rebellion Day” I had dinner with two very good friends of mine. They asked about why I was in London and, possibly for the first time in as long as I can remember, I spoke in a totally unfiltered way about the scale of the ecological crises we’re facing; how we’ve got just a few years to change course or see major human suffering in around 20 years’ time; and why I believe that the only chance we have left is mass civil disobedience and direct action.
I found myself surprised and relieved in saying it all. I have believed this for a long time and have been involved in direct action for around 2 ½ years (and less radical environmental organisations before that). But I have censored myself when speaking about it with lots of people I know – even some of my closest friends.
I’ve been embarrassed to talk about the permanent elephant in the room – not wanting to be a bore; make people miserable or guilty; or be too controversial.
Similarly, I don’t post much about either climate change or activism on Facebook (you might think I do, but it’s nothing compared to how much I think about it).
I just don’t feel I have the energy for dealing with the Facebook debates and criticism I expect.
Some criticism that would just frustrate me; some that would be valid and I could learn from; and some I may have thought myself before deciding being involved was still worth it.
Either way, because I’m not able to think of the perfectly worded post that says what I have been doing and why, and also answers all the possible criticisms – I just don’t bother posting anything.
By doing this I’ve perpetuated the silence and denial around climate change; by not talking about what I really care about and what I spend most of my free time (and a good deal of my career) working on, I’ve felt more distant from my friends. Worse still, I’ve denied my friends an opportunity to learn about and/or become involved in activism themselves.
What was obvious from my conversation on Friday was that these friends cared as much as I did; they understood why radical action was needed; and wanted to help – they just hadn’t stumbled across the opportunities to be involved that I had, and didn’t know where to start.
Extinction Rebellion has brought a lot of new people into climate activism and is aiming to force the issue up the political agenda.
I met lots of people who have never been involved in activism before, but had been hungry for the opportunity to be part of a movement whose demands meet the scale of the challenge we’re facing.
I’m going to try stop being embarrassed and assuming my friends don’t want to talk about these things; stop worrying about criticisms on Facebook; and have more honest conversations that open up the possibility for more people to join the movement.”
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