Hello wonderful friends!
It’s nearing the end of October, and only 12 days away from the elections on November 4th! I’m going to try to practice what I preach, and take a week off of generating brilliant content for you- and instead share some brilliant content with you by other people.
It’s important to recognize when the work or the issue is burning you out, versus the organization. Admitting you’re in a toxic organization is the first step toward healing. Unfortunately, a popular model of social justice out there is the canvassing/your-income-is-based-on-how-much-time-people-on-the-street-have-for-you model. Often young adults, bright eyed and bushy tailed, are lured into these organizations (I almost was once. Then I did my research.), with the promise of making a difference. But the organizations are set up so that they will never see the impact their street cornering hard work does. Almost everyone I know avoids those folks on the street, including me. I smile, thank them for their hard work, occasionally buy them ice cream if it’s brutally hot out, acknowledge how frustrating it is to do what they do, and then quickly run away before they can ask me for money to save the children.
When you’re stuck in a toxic organization, you start to wonder if it’s you. “Am I just not cut out for this kind of work?” Then you start to resent the job. “All organizing jobs must be this terrible.”- even when what you’re doing isn’t actually organizing, but that’s a way sexier a title than “minimum-wage slave to the movement”. You may even start resenting the issue you’re working on.
And then it hits you. The place where you work sucks. It’s not your fault, you are part of a machine designed to work you as hard as possible, then spit you out on the other side. They don’t care what happens to you after- being invested in you and your growth isn’t the point.Read More