By Ashley Causey-Golden
Social media has become an impactful tool to communicate and share with people the ins and outs of our lives but it is also a tool to collaborate with others and foster solidarity around issues that matter. However, even with the positive aspects of social media, there are aspects of social media that are detrimental to the positive work that is being done. One aspect, in particular, is comparing. The invisible barrier of comparison is created by our own imagination that separates and divides us, and ultimately limits the possibility for our work to be built upon or used by others. The barrier of comparison with social media can prevent us from seeing the beneficial and necessary work that we are currently doing. The anxiety of not being "as good" or "as impactful" completely drowns out the intention of why we started the work in the first place. When we forget the intention of the work that we are doing, we lose the purpose of the “why.” The “why” for our work is the compass that reminds us where our North is and that looks a little different for each person. When we begin to look at our work through a comparison lens, we begin to discredit and hold back from sharing our work with others, which a real loss for the causes we support and the potential connections we could possibly have with others.
As I write this post, those same thoughts are running in the back of my mind, but I am learning that activism looks different for every person. The activism of an individual organizing marches or going door to door is just as important as making intentional choices about the books you read, music you listen to, where you shop, your food choices, and how you show up in the multiple spaces you navigate each day. I can’t stress enough how we each are vital to the pursuit of making a world that is equitable so that individuals are able to achieve the best version of themselves. That is the thread that connects us, the desire to reach and sustain the versions of ourselves.
I am learning that my activism will look different and that’s okay. When we are operating at our best, we are creating ripples of change around us. Life is not linear and neither is change. Creating change is messy, hard, and incremental. The ripples most of the time are unnoticeable but when my ripples, connect with the ripples that you are creating, we can form a wave of change. We need you. When you are doing work that you love and are able to share that passion, you are doing activism.