Thursday, January 13, 2011

Helping Haiti and Trepidation

For me, one of the hardest parts about activism is that I often feel helpless. It's easy enough when organizations are creating media, materials, and events to support. It's easy, and there's nothing wrong with that. Handing out fliers, sharing movies, engaging individuals, protesting, and going to events that support your ideals are all important pieces of the puzzle.

One project I'm supporting is 100 Shows For Haiti. This grassroots movement is to "raise $100,000 for direct action humanitarian aid for the people of Haiti."

I want to show my support by going to this show.

But today, as I sat here wishing for a show in Baltimore, it occurred to me that I'm not doing enough. I am a professional entertainer, though part time. I work with other entertainers. My friends are all dancers and musicians, and some of them have great connections to venues. Hell, I have great connections to venues.

So why did I fail to put something together? I could make a dozen excuses about being busy, but the fact is that I didn't look carefully enough at my resources and I was not confident in my ability to effect change.

This is our greatest enemy. Figure out what you can do, and then do it. Never be afraid to put something together. Sometimes, the best you can do is hand out an organization's literature, and that is a tremendous and powerful course of action. But if you have the resources at your disposal, tackle something big.

You don't have to do it alone. If I would have asked my friends, they'd have helped me.

In the end, it's my own doubt that was my downfall. I want to be an agent of change, but until I believe that I am an agent of change, I'll keep missing opportunities like this one.

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