To continue engaging with issues that matter, one must continue to engage with issues that matter. Holding yourself accountable, working to stay educated on various topics, applying your learning wherever applicable. These simple but loaded actions are a necessity for continual issue engagement without the structure of a formal program.
As the Black Lives Matter movement has shown, social media and online resources are far reaching and an excellent jumping off point to begin researching. There is no reason for anyone to be uneducated on impactful topics in this day and age when the knowledge of the universe is a few taps of a phone screen away. Change begins with oneself, and although it can be hard to be motivated to keep up with issues that matter and avoid burn out, it is imperative to find balance. A formal program should not be the only motivator for community engagement.
However, with a lack of structure comes the inevitable sense of overwhelmingness. You’re bright-eyed, fresh-faced, and feel like you’re ready to take on the world. You consume excessive amounts of media and all the information you can possibly find on your topic of choice and suddenly you realize that maybe, things weren’t as simple as you thought, and you weren’t quite prepared for the emotional toll this information would bring. That being said, it is completely okay to take a step back and regather your thoughts and simply take time to let everything settle into your brain. But, do not get discouraged and fall back into a lifestyle of complacency. If something is important, then you need to commit. If you have the ability to commit, then you need to full send. There’s no point in doing something with one foot in and one foot out the door. Having a voice is a luxury that many can only dream of possessing. It’s not always about you, and when people realize that being a considerate human being that lifts others up when they can and acting with the wellbeing of your community in mind costs exactly zero dollars, the world will be much better off.