by Jerry Rubin
1- Activists need emotional support…. whether they realize it or not. Support from other activists for each other as well as our own support for ourselves personally. Constructive criticism is very important, but constructive loving praise might be even more important.2- Activists need unity….. if we’re going to be more effective. That means Democrats, Independents, Greens, etc. must find ways to coordinate better, build coalitions together, and not blame or fight amongst ourselves. Especially at a time when progressive effectiveness has never been more important. We can certainly debate and disagree (sometimes I even disagree with myself) but the challenge is to find ways we can promote unity and diversity simultaneously.3- Activists need to know that they can and are making a difference. Even when we feel sad, frustrated and despairing, we can help others… and ourselves… build a sense of hopefulness.4- Activists need to know, understand and appreciate that our activism is likely to be a lifetime ongoing endeavor and personal commitment. The prospect of a lifetime of activism seems like it might make it harder when activists want needed results now and are feeling tired now….. but it will liberate our stress and enhance our long-term positive vision if we can truly understand that our activism and the activism of our children and the activism of many future generations to come will help create a clean environment and a world more peaceful, loving, just, equal, free and fair.5- Activists need to know the burden is not all on their shoulders personally….. even though it can easily feel that way. ‘Slowly but surely’ is a time-tested positive slogan. ‘Think globally and act locally’ is another. If you need a rest take it. If you sometimes need to say no say it. If you need to ask for emotional support do it.Well, I think I now need a rest for a little while myself. Even compiling this short list can be personally exhausting. But also personally inspiring.I’ve been a peace and environmental activist since 1979. I feel honored to be an activist. I’ve felt like giving up a few times myself. But I was lucky enough to have a lot of support.