How often do you find yourself thinking that “bigger is better”? I know I’ve bought into this logic in many parts of my life. The more friends I have, the more loved I am. The more projects and tasks I take on, the more effective I am. The more “likes” I get on my blog post, the more impact I’ll have.
It’s not a coincidence that we tend to think this way - the war economy operates on growth and continual consumption, and it rewards those with a big reach, a loud voice, and the money or power to affect thousands of people. That culture bleeds into our own beliefs and habits, even when it comes to our activism. And that can make us feel helpless: what can I, one person, possibly do to affect change?
But what I’ve realized over the years is that change happens in ways we can’t predict or assign a linear value to. And some of the most meaningful changes I’ve created have come from quality of interaction rather than quantity. For example, in my former job I used to have three minute conversations with thousands of random people on the street to sign a petition for education funding. I had lots of signatures, but not much else. At the same time, I also mentored a high school student and spent years growing together in friendship, discussing our different experiences and passions and ideas. Out of this space, he decided to dedicate his college life to activism and is now a leader in the student movement with mentees of his own.
The war economy devalues small, personal acts, but I think the strength of our movement, as adrienne maree brown so eloquently puts it, lies in the strength of our relationships, which could only be measured by their depth. It’s all about growing the love between us.
Reflect on where in your life you’ve thought that bigger was better, and see if you can view the situation differently.
Ask yourself today: what does depth require from you? What small, thoughtful action can you take today to grow the love?
Thanks for all that you are,