Mother: a female parent.
Parent: a source, origin, or cause
Verb: to give rise or origin to
Mother’s Day is a tricky holiday, really.
It’s a happy day for many.
It’s a sad day for many.
But this year in particular, it was a thoughtful day for me.
Because I’ve spent the past few days marveling at the whirr and the buzz that I see everywhere within the #Resistance these days – like so many bees cleaning a hive and prepping for the season.
And it dawned on me as I sat thinking about Mothers Day and about all of you, sipping my coffee and listening to the rain pelting the loose windowpane in my office.
We’ve parented – and are parenting – a movement.
Parenthood – and motherhood – is creation.
It’s breathing life into something beyond yourself. It’s nurturing, coaxing, being firm and direct when you need to be, but speaking softly when encouragement wins the moment, and being wise enough to tell the difference.
It begins with the stark realization that you have no earthly idea what you’re doing and that nobody’s roadmap will work perfectly for you. It descends into exhaustion and overwhelm fairly quickly. But the high points are so high – the elation so great – that the exhaustion becomes second nature, and you simply soldier on.
It’s finding a new group of people that you relate to – people you may never have met otherwise, but now you can’t live without.
It’s about stretching yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually until you feel like Gumby. And just when you think you can’t do much more, finding that you’re more limber than you ever imagined.
It’s the pride in knowing that you’re part of something bigger than yourself. That your contribution is essential but that you’re not the center of everything (anything?) anymore.
It’s weeding out old influences that just don’t fit into your life anymore. The family that didn’t come through, the old friends that no longer understand. It’s the ultimate sorting hat.
It’s finding the confidence that you’ll figure it out along the way. That learning by doing is okay – and sometimes the best way.
And knowing that nobody really knows what they’re doing, but you’ll all figure it out together. And it’s going to be just fine.
Parenthood, motherhood and the #Resisterhood is being part of a community of creators, of nurturers, of inspirers, motivators, and whole-heart-givers.
I’m so glad you’re part of this community.
Let’s fight like mothers.
Let’s get to work.
Actions for the week of may 14
Tuesday: Join – or Start – A book Club!
A recent poll showed that only 3% of Americans have read the full Mueller Report.
I get it – it’s a huge document, and it’s a little overwhelming to dig into, what with all of the things we need to keep up with.
That’s why I’m so excited to learn of a new initiative: Mueller Report Book Club! Imagine getting together with your people, having some coffee/tea/wine/what-have-you and talking about the Report. It’s the perfect socialization+democracy. Brilliant!
How can you participate? Well, as described by organizers MarchForTruth:
- You can start a reading group of your own in your own group or community.
- You can sign up to receive a weekly reading guide and information about a weekly online discussion.
- You can encourage others in your community to engage with the report and its findings- we’ll send you suggestions!
Check it out and sign up HERE.
P.S. If you need to download the report, you can do so HERE.
Wednesday: Climate Hearing + Share What You’re Doing About Climate Change With Your Network
First, a programming note: on Wednesday at 10am (EST) the Ways and Means Committee is going to have a hearing about The Economic and Health Consequences of Climate Change. (!!) You will be able to watching the hearing live by going to their link HERE.
Second, one of the biggest problems with getting people to take action on climate change is the feeling that the problem is so huge – and our individual contribution so small – that whatever we do is useless. But social scientists have found that simply sharing what you’re doing with others encourages them to take action, too – multiplying your impact many times over:
- “Patrons at a US cafe who were told that 30% of Americans had started eating less meat were twice as likely to order a meatless lunch.
- An online survey showed that of the respondents who know someone who had given up flying because of climate change, half of them said they flew less as a result.
- In California, households were more likely to install solar panels in neighbourhoods that already have them.
- Community organizers trying to get people to install solar panels were 62% more successful in their efforts if they had panels in their house too.“
It’s just part of how human beings are wired that we gauge our own behavior based on what other people are doing. So one of the most effective ways to increase our impact is simply to share what we’re doing with friends!
So the next time you’re out at dinner, mention that you’re eating less meat or dairy because of climate change.
Or when you’re at your Mueller Report book club, strike up a climate change conversation with your fellow book clubbers – talk with each other about things that you’re doing. You’ll get great ideas from others, and they’ll get great ideas (and motivation) from you.
Thursday: Check Out New Resistance School Offerings!
Every now and again I share a resource that I’ve found that I think is interesting or useful. This week it’s a reprise of a resource that’s been around but that has new information that I think you’ll find valuable. You might have heard of Resistance School in the early days of 2017, but they’ve added tons of content.
In addition to more typical offerings like how to canvass, phone bank, or register voters, they’ve got interesting in-depth video courses on:
- Communicating across differences
- How to defeat dog whistle politics
- Strategic messaging
- How to communicate your values
- How to move your activism from online to offline
So head over to Resistance School at https://www.resistanceschool.com/courses/ and check out what’s new!
Friday: Help Reclaim the Vote
Have you been looking for a way to use this moment in the election cycle to work on voter registration and engagement – and combat voter suppression? Then I have a great project for you.
Reclaim Our Vote is a project by the National Voter Corps that’s “a nonpartisan voter registration and get-out-the-vote campaign, reaching out mainly to voters of color on ‘Unregistered’ and ‘Inactive’ lists in key voter-suppression states. The effort is directed by the Center for Common Ground, with help from the NAACP, Black Voters Matter and other organizations.”
In 2018, they contacted voters whose status on the voter rolls changed (like from registered to inactive) in time for them to change their status, or reregister. Go to their website (www.nationalvotercorps.com) to learn more, and volunteer to help!