KSEC is primarily made of student-activists: some of the more enthusiastic and exhausted people on the planet that we strive to stabilize. Balancing school and KSEC and anything else we do is difficult.
But, we often remind ourselves, many of us have it relatively easy. Many of us in KSEC don’t need to worry about oil pipelines tearing through our communities. Many members don’t deal with violent discrimination on a daily basis. Many of us can walk, talk, and breathe, without immense effort or pain. Perspective motivates us to push through adversity, and can lead to some great achievements. But it can also be dangerous. Perspective can make a person push too hard.
This can be beneficial, to an extent. If, while hiking with your friend, you stub your toe on a rock, that hurts pretty bad. If your friend steps in a hole and breaks their ankle, you can probably power through that stubbed toe and help evacuate your friend.
But the toe still hurts. It probably reminds you every step. You can ignore it for a while, but if you never take a moment to check on how it’s doing, it can get more and more severe. If left untreated, your stubbed toe could become a missing toe, and now the severity of your situation is getting closer to that of your friend’s.
We activists spend our lives fighting for justice for ourselves and our fellow earth-dwellers, and it’s tiring. But we do it because we believe it’s right. This is how we want to spend our lives. But please, activist or not, don’t let someone else’s difficulties invalidate your own. You don’t need to be a martyr to be effective.
KSEC works hard. We are eager and we are weary. We do not ever stop working for what we believe in. We maintain momentum by addressing our difficulties. We assess their magnitude relative to our current situation and then either drink another cup of coffee, call it a night, or take a quick rest and get back to work. Because sometimes you need to power through and meet a deadline; sometimes, you need to take off your shoe, wrap up your toe, and keep walking; and sometimes you need seven hours of sleep to fight for the person who can only manage two.