Anyone who engages in social good, anyone who considers themselves an activist is imperfect. Activism is and will be imperfect. So when we engage, we are basically affecting change, one mistake at a time.
Activism is messy. There are so many things to consider. So many different approaches and methods. So many different issues to consider. There isn’t a clear path. There are no easy solutions. It can be exhausting. You put yourself out there, and when others criticize, it can be demoralizing, because you made an effort to improve things, but you didn’t do it “right”.
Insecurities arise, resolve dissolves, and paralysis sets in.
… We get it. We’ve been there. And it’s okay.
Take a deep breath and begin again. This time you are empowered with slightly thicker skin and new knowledge based on information gleaned from experience, research, and potentially your critics, however hurtful they may have been.
Let your activism be imperfect. Know that messing up is part of the process and usually serves to make you more effective in the end. It’s okay to own your mistakes, acknowledge them, address them, and then move forward. Continue to be the change, flaws and all.
We may be doing it wrong here at Social Good Families, but we will keep trying until we get better. We are a new organization. We are just beginning this journey of activism. We have already learned a thing or two about the way we present ourselves, the way that messages can be misinterpreted, and how we can be more effective. There is so much to learn.
A good mantra for an activist comes from Maya Angelou: “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” Let’s help each other out so that we can all learn and be more effective in our activism. I mean, come on, we know you’ve been quietly judging us (wink, wink). Please, speak up with your constructive criticism. We want to improve!
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
― Theodore Roosevelt