Protecting democracy and our environment isn’t easy. But it’s worth it.
There’s plenty of reasons to feel disillusioned about the government process. Many Americans like me and you feel dispensable, like a speck of dust in the desert, like we are drowning in a tidal wave of injustice. The danger with feeling hopeless is the false comfort of giving in and giving up. And sometimes I feel like giving up too, friends.
These are the things that keep me up at night: Thousands of lives lost to COVID-19 with no accountability from our do-nothing, say-nothing governor; an ocean full of teeny tiny plastics and hungry wildlife; the backdoor erasure of voting rights and not-so-secret anti-Black policies in all levels of government.
Let me be honest: the future seems bleak. The divide between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ has never been wider; the divide between people who believe ‘all for one’ vs ‘one for all’ is deep. But our future is not yet written. Every ‘today’ gives hope to ‘tomorrow.’ Of all the things that special interests and corporate power can control (hint: a lot of things), they cannot control passionate people like me and you. We threaten them and that’s why they try so hard to shut us up. Corrupt politicians cannot define us, cannot confine us. Try as they might to take away clean energy and silence our voices (HB 919, passed in 2021), they cannot force us to fall in line, to comply, to give them our votes on Election Day. We have power, together. We are creative. We are resilient. We are tireless. We are Conservation Voters.
We’re up against the odds, truly. It’s a miracle I get a wink of sleep.
Where do I find solace? In people like you. In those who show up to volunteer, who continue to share a love and passion for our land and water, who beat the #ActOnClimate drum in the face of denialists, who register and educate voters in our streets. Ya’ll keep me coming back every day. But it’s not just the halls of the Capitol that need people like you. We need fighters in our communities too. Even in seemingly simple ways, we can all make a difference and we all have something meaningful to contribute. If you like to bake, make something sweet for houseless neighbors; if you like to read, join a social justice book club or volunteer with a local public school; if you like to make TikToks with your friends, encourage folks to vote as you dance.
We have agency and urgency. We choose how we spend our money, the way we raise the next generation, and the way we cultivate community among our neighborhoods, Facebook friends, family members near and far, and fellow Floridians. We have more power than we know, especially when we join together.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the heaviness of politics because it is just that: heavy. And it’s easy to feel alone, up against it all. But you’re not the only one carrying the burdens of environmental degradation; you’re not the only one who feels scared, sad, disconnected, unsatisfied. Many of us do, and together, as a movement, the least that we are is here for each other. And some days, being there for our fellow earthlings is the best thing we can give to our Earth.
Our communities are worth fighting for. And we need you on our side. On your empowered days, on your deflated days, every day. And when you get tired – when the weight of the world is too heavy – we’ll rely on each other, rest, and come back tomorrow refreshed and ready to seize the world we all deserve. Are you with us? Here are three things you can do from the comfort of your home: