The Struggle is Real - Where is the Movement?

The Struggle is Real - Where is the Movement?

skastrul's picture

Decades ago seeing a struggle was something that encompassed an entire community. The struggle, represented a movement. Change that required our Communities to stand together and stand up for justice and equality. Whereas today, the struggle is an individual plight and we stand for our individual plight, our individual views, our individual struggle. “I am struggling through this day.” “I, Me, Mine versus Us, We, Ours.”

In my lifetime, I’ve never seen us so divided. These crazy times call for us to claim each other more than we have ever claimed each other. When we don’t claim each other within our community, we really don’t claim ourselves or each other outside of it. Until we can stand in the shoes of someone who doesn’t agree with us, we’re not claiming each other.

When we can’t even allow ourselves to understand, to empathize, to accept, and respect someone else’s struggle, it becomes a competition to see who’s struggling the most. That’s absurd. “Oh, my struggle is deeper than your struggle, therefore you should shut up.” It’s like if you’ve being sick and saying, “I have this terrible headache.” and someone replies “Well, I have a broken arm.” And you’re like, “Okay, you win.” There’s plenty of empathy to go around and we lose ourselves when we so caught up in us as an individual that we lose sight of the “we”.

I think that that separation between an individual and a community is our downfall. When we feel isolated in our struggle, It seems almost hopeless that we can get out of it. When we are a part of a movement to make change that will impact more than ourselves , it becomes something greater than a struggle, it becomes a force that is heard. We’re standing on the cusp of great change and changing the struggle to be a movement towards equity and change. When the struggle is a movement we are incredibly Mighty. We are as strong as we can possibly be because we’re standing together in the struggle.

Think of the Civil Rights Movement. People of multiple generations, communities and multiple struggles rolled up together. Nothing changed until we stood together. It could have just as easily remained an individual struggle.

It’s a testament to the power of great organizers. To take the struggles that triggered the civil rights and turn them into a movement is an art. It requires that all facets of the community are included. Community leaders, faith-based leaders, educators, politicians, you name it, all the way up to the Oval Office. That’s how we legislated change. Interestingly enough, it all happened without social media.

Sometimes we feel like social media is our movement. As if we could just “like” something or “make a comment,” we’ve done something for the cause”. The number of likes & followers you have only speaks to your your online persona, but that isn’t what makes a movement. Social media can only help a movement by getting the messages out. To let people know what is actually happening locally in order to have a call to action.

I’m not saying social media isn’t a part of anything but it’s a channel for for education for information. Sometimes that information is correct. Sometimes it isn’t but nevertheless it’s information. That information helps us help shape what we know but ultimately the action is the choice we make to stand together in the struggle to make a movement of change . So what do you stand for and who do you stand with?



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About Sandee

Sandee Kastrul's photo
I believe that the definition of leadership is making opportunities for others. I am a leadership geek and find that the richest opportunities for all of our futures lie in education. I am a believer in reciprocity in education and that as educators we are both teacher and student. I believe that the world can be a classroom if we open ourselves to the notion that application, concatenation and liberation start with listening. Schedule Sandee to Speak

About i.c.stars

i.c.stars is a non-profit organization in Chicago for adults with a high school diploma or GED. Using project-based learning and full immersion teaching, i.c.stars provides an opportunity for change-driven, future leaders to develop skills in business and technology. To learn more go to www.icstars.org

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