Step 4: We Need to Take Care of Ourselves

It’s hard to juggle taking care of yourself and making the world a better place at the same time. We need to make sure we get the balance right.

It’s hard to juggle taking care of yourself and making the world a better place at the same time.

A lot of people have good intentions but never get around to making a difference, because they get so wrapped up in their own stuff.

Other people work really hard to make a difference, but suffer the consequences in their personal lives, and have to struggle not to get discouraged or burnt out.

If we want to create real, lasting change, we need to make sure we get the balance right.

Some of this is just promoting good self-care practices. We need to make peace with what we can and can’t control. We need to have healthy expectations and habits. We need to deal with our emotions productively.

But there’s more to it than that. We can’t simply look inward, because a lot of our distress is the result of bigger problems in the world.

There are a lot of problems that we tend to define as strictly personal problems—like addictions, our obesity epidemic, and the explosion of mental health issues—that are very much linked to bigger things going on in society.

It’s important to take responsibility for your emotions and actions. But it’s not okay to beat yourself up, or use other people’s distress as an excuse to demean or blame them.

We tell ourselves all the time that life is hard, and life is unfair. And yet, so often, in the same breath, those of us who have it easier look for every excuse to leave behind the people who are suffering the most: telling them it’s their own fault, telling them they deserve their deplorable conditions, telling them they should help themselves.

I think that’s cowardly. We’re all in this together, and much of the misfortune that falls on people is out of their control.

If you don’t have many burdens or hardships to deal with, you’re lucky. Because there are billions of people out there who do have a lot of them, who could use your help getting back on their feet.

We need to take care of ourselves, and we need to take care of each other too. That’s the kind of society I want to live in. Don’t you?

 

This is the 5th in a series of over 150 videos about how to create real, lasting social change. Click here for a list of all titles, videos, and transcripts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *